All baby diseases at a glance
Children's health All baby diseases at a glance
When babies are sick, parents suffer too. To help you with conjunctivitis, earache& Co. If you know what to do, here are the most important emergency measures plus information on when you need to take your child to the doctor.
– fever – cold – cough – 3-month colic – diarrhea – earache – diaper rash – neurodermatitis – constipation – gastrointestinal infection – conjunctivitis
This is how fever manifests itself:
A person's normal body temperature fluctuates between about 36.5 and 37.5 degrees Celsius. One speaks of light fever at a temperature between 38 and 39 degrees, high fever has one at over 39 degrees and very high fever at over 40.5 degrees. When you get a fever, you usually start to shiver and feel cold. As the disease progresses, temperatures become concentrated in certain areas of the body: You have cold feet and a hot head, and you sweat. However: babies do not yet have a constant body temperature like adults, but react to external circumstances. So if a baby is dressed too warm, the body temperature rises, if it is dressed too thin, it drops. A hot head in babies is not necessarily a signal for a high fever.
With fever the organism defends itself by means of high body temperatures against the pathogens: Also higher fever does not mean therefore immediately a heavy illness, but is above all an indication that the defense mechanisms work.
How you can help:
If your baby has a fever, give him plenty to drink: if you are breastfeeding fully, it is enough to offer him the breast often. Otherwise, offer tea or room-warm mineral water in addition to the bottle of milk. This compensates for the loss of fluids caused by sweating. The important thing is not that your baby drinks a lot at once, but that he or she drinks fluids frequently. Therefore, you can give him tea or water by the spoonful. Please also pay attention to how often your baby's diaper is wet during the day: if he or she is passing remarkably little urine, this is the first sign of dehydration. Calf compresses also reduce fever: wrap each lower leg first with a damp, room-warm cloth and then with a dry cloth. You can remove the calf wrap when the wet cloth has taken on body heat. Repeat this procedure two or three times. Dress your baby as breezily as possible and change clothes if they are sweaty through. The room temperature should also not be too high: about 19 degrees is sufficient. However, it is better not to go for walks in the fresh air: stay at home with your baby and give him plenty of rest to get better again.
When to take your baby to the doctor?
Basically, in the first year of life, you should definitely go to the doctor if the temperature rises above 38.5 degrees. The younger your baby is, the earlier you should seek medical advice. If there are other symptoms such as diarrhea or vomiting, or if your baby seems apathetic or altered, you should see a doctor as soon as possible, even in the middle of the night. This will then also decide whether fever-reducing medication is necessary.
If your baby has a cold
This is how a cold manifests itself:
In the case of a cold, the nose and throat are usually affected first, followed by the bronchial tubes and sinuses. Babies often react to a cold with a combination of a cold and pharyngitis, and sometimes bronchitis or otitis media are also present. With a cold, the baby breathes more heavily than usual. Mucus bubbles form in front of the nose. Often babies have problems drinking because they can hardly breathe through their nose. In the case of pharyngitis with a sore throat, children often refuse the breast, the bottle or the spoon because swallowing hurts. The child cries and whines, and older children sometimes touch their necks. It is also possible that the baby holds his tummy, because babies and toddlers often project any pain to the center of the body. If your baby keeps grabbing his ear, this could also mean that (in addition to the ears) the throat is inflamed: the connection from the throat to the ear is still very small in babies, which is why bacteria and viruses travel easily – that's why earaches can develop quickly.
First, let's dispel a common myth: contrary to popular belief, a cold does not come from "cold". This means: wet feet or freezing do not cause a cold – because the prerequisite for this is first the infection with pathogens. The viruses and bacteria are transported either in the air or via smear infection and thus enter the organism. The better the body is hardened, the better it can defend itself against the pathogens. Conversely: The weaker an organism is, the faster it falls victim to viruses and bacteria.
This is how you can help:
If your baby has a cold, you can try a few drops of saline solution or breast milk. This loosens any crusts. Your baby may already be breathing freely again. You can remove the nasal mucus carefully with a perfume-free cosmetic tie or with a nasal secretion aspirator (available at the pharmacy, for example). Weakly dosed nasal drops can also help, but it is better to discuss this briefly with a doctor beforehand. If your baby has a sore throat, the most important thing is to keep the throat warm – this promotes blood circulation and the body can produce more antibodies. In addition, you can also make warm neck wraps (for example, with water, lard/butter, or sliced, boiled potatoes). Also, give your baby plenty to drink (water, unsweetened teas). To prevent the mucous membranes from drying out, make sure that the air is always relatively humid. To do this, it is best to put a bowl of water in the room or the clothes horse with wet laundry.
When is it advisable to go to the doctor with a baby with a cold??
If the cold lasts longer than three days, it is better to take your baby to a doctor.
This is how a cough manifests itself:
Not all coughs are the same: there is the cough that accompanies a (beginning) cold, a barking cough that is usually associated with hoarseness, and the sudden onset of a cough in a baby who is actually healthy. In addition, coughing can cause severe breathing difficulties, rattling noises, or problems inhaling or exhaling.
Basically, coughing is not a disease, but rather a protective mechanism: if there is secretion (in the case of a cold) or foreign bodies in the airways, this reflex ensures that anything obstructing the airways is coughed up and thus removed.
Here's how you can help:
The most important thing to do if you have a cough that goes hand in hand with a cold: drink plenty of fluids! Offer your baby something to drink frequently (water, unsweetened tea, highly diluted juice). Since the respiratory tract is strained and dry, it is helpful to provide high humidity. However, please refrain from using a humidifier, but rather place a bowl of water and ventilate frequently. If your baby does not have a fever and is otherwise fit, you do not have to give up going for a walk. Warm chest compresses, for example with a cherry stone pillow, (please always pay attention to the temperature!) are soothing and stimulate the metabolism. If the cough worsens overnight, a few drops of ivy extract (from the pharmacy) will help. Cough suppressant suppositories should only be administered in consultation with the doctor: It is particularly important in the case of a moist cough that the mucus is coughed up!
When should you take your baby to the doctor?
Very rare, but good to know: If severe coughing suddenly occurs in a healthy baby, it may be that the child has a foreign body in the airways: In that case, please check your baby's mouth quickly and thoroughly. However, never stick a finger down his throat, even if you suspect an object is stuck in your baby's throat. Try to calm your child. Call the emergency medical service as soon as possible! Attention! For babies under three months, you should not wait long! Also, if there are severe breathing problems (very fast breathing, labored breathing), noises when breathing, such as whistling, humming or rattling, or if your baby has a fever and is acting strangely: call the doctor quickly. Otherwise: If the cough does not disappear after a few days, please consult a doctor.