Infant Signs of Illness

When baby is well and healthy, this is usually reflected by the appearance. The child looks well, is often rosy cheeked, looks well fed, is happy and contented, sleeps a reasonable amount of time each day and is undisturbed but if a baby who is not well usually indicates it because babies haven’t learnt the art of acting.

Therefore, if baby looks ill, it usually means he or she is ill. There are certain obvious signs that indicate that all is not well, and that baby is in need of medical attention.

The signs of illness in an infant include the following:

Fevers, whatever the cause, need some sort of treatment. Babies tend to “run temperatures” far more readily than adults. Their heat-regulating system has not yet developed. But any high temperature needs assistance, even a cool sponge.

Fluid loss, if persisting, definitely needs urgent medical assistance. Babies can dehydrate (lose fluid) at an alarming rate with persisting vomiting and/or diarrhea. If this does not settle with simple home treatment within a few hours, call the doctor. It’s so easy for a baby to swing from being fit and well to perilously ill from fluid loss.