When To Take Your Baby To The Emergency Room
When your baby is sick or hurt, it’s hard to know what to do. Do you wait and see if baby gets better? Or rush to the emergency room?
The first rule you should always follow when a baby is sick or injured is “better safe than sorry.”
Even if your baby is usually healthy, it is always safer to seek professional help in case of an emergency. And some emergencies are almost impossible to detect until it’s too late. The following are signs and symptoms to look for that indicate that your baby should be taken to the hospital or ER immediately –
- If your baby has stopped eating or is difficult to feed repeatedly, you must see a doctor.
- Changes in breathing patterns, including the following, are especially concerning: slow or rapid breathing, irregular breathing patterns, flaring nostrils, belly or ribs moving unusually with breathing, laboured breathing, or not breathing at all.
- Head injury
- Behavioural changes such as lethargy or extreme tiredness in baby, including difficulty waking
- Bloody urine, stool or spit-up
- Deep cuts or potentially broken bones
- The baby’s umbilical area or penis suddenly becomes red or starts to ooze or bleed
- Fever that is running higher than 100.4ºF
- A temperature that drops too low (rectal temperature below 97.8°F or 36.5°C)
- Sunken in or bulging fontanel (the soft spot in the baby’s head)
- Skin or lips that look blue, purple or gray
Prepare for emergencies in advance by asking your baby’s doctor during a check-up what to do and where to go if your baby needs emergency care. Learn basic first aid, including CPR, and keep emergency phone numbers and addresses handy.