Why Is My 2 Month Old Baby Vomiting So Much My Baby is SICK – When to Contact Your Pediatrician and What to Say

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My Baby is SICK – When to Contact Your Pediatrician and What to Say

As a new parent, it’s sometimes hard to know when your child is sick enough to need medical attention and when you’re just overreacting.

Does your concern stem from being a normal, newbie parent with a lot of worry and very little experience? Or is your child really sick?

Of course you don’t want to make a mistake about your new baby’s health!

Here are some pointers that can help you determine when to call the doctor. As always, if you are REALLY worried and need reassurance, please call your pediatrician for advice.

Understand that she/he is used to this cycle and that your doctor knows that if they can educate you, you will be a better parent and their investment will pay off. If you encounter a pediatrician who is less than understanding when he takes your phone call, FIND YOURSELF A NEW DOCTOR!

When you call your doctor, her advice will depend on the following general criteria:

The severity of your child’s symptoms

Frequency of your child’s symptoms

The doctor may give you a temporary solution to tide you over until you can get to the office, and he may tell you to call the office to make an appointment. OR, he may tell you to go to the emergency room if the symptoms or health problem is more severe and needs immediate attention.

The important thing to remember is not to panic. Be prepared to answer questions (we’ll get to this in a minute) and call your doctor’s office. If you call at night, you will get an answering service and they or the doctor will call you back or refer you to an “emergency” number.

If your child shows any of the following symptoms, it is wise to call your pediatrician.

Fever – Although it is common for children between 2 and 12 months to develop mild fevers, your doctor will decide whether your child should be examined or simply monitor and treat the symptoms of the fever.

Vomiting or Diarrhea – Babies sometimes have soft stools (especially if you are breastfeeding), and all babies “spit up”. If these symptoms are frequent or severe, you should call your doctor. If your baby has had diarrhea or vomiting for a day or two, your doctor will worry about dehydration.

Upper Respiratory Infections, Colds – Colds and viruses can be uncomfortable for a baby, but normally they are not a concern. However, if your child has trouble breathing, or trouble eating because he can’t breathe through his nose, or if your baby is coughing or stuffy, you should call your doctor.

Ear or eye problems – If your baby pulls at her ear or doesn’t seem to respond to your voice as usual, she may have an ear infection or congestion. This may be associated with a fever and/or an upper respiratory infection. Likewise, if your baby’s eyes become swollen or if you see any discharge from the eyes, call your doctor.

Cuts, Bumps, Bruises – As your baby begins to crawl and walk, he’ll probably get a minor cut or bump once in a while. If you don’t know how to treat these minor wounds or if the cut seems to be taking a long time to heal, call your doctor.

General Changes in Habits – If your baby’s appetite, sleep patterns, mood, or motor skills seem to change dramatically and if these changes are persistent, call your doctor. If your child is lethargic or irritable at times of the day when he would otherwise be active or playful, and if these changes are persistent, call your doctor. If your child develops a rash all over the body or an unexplained rash (not diaper rash), call your doctor. Also, if your child’s skin tone changes (developing a yellowish color) call your doctor. This usually happens within the first few weeks after you bring him home and could be a sign of jaundice, which is not unusual but requires treatment.

Urchins!

If your child has any of these symptoms, you should consider this an emergency and immediately call 911 or take your child to an emergency room (DO NOT attempt to drive your child to the Emergency Room if you are alone with the child). You will need someone in the car with you to look after your baby while you drive.

If you and your child are alone when the emergency occurs, stay calm and call 911.

Seek emergency treatment if your child:

Swallowed an unknown substance or a poisonous substance (such as household cleaner)

Has seizures or is unresponsive

If your child has a serious wound or cut that won’t stop bleeding or that may require stitches

If your child has real breathing problems (labor, labored breathing or severe breathing), and/or his skin tone is bluish or gray in color (look at the nails and lips, because this is where you will first see these signs appear)

If your child has a high fever (100.4 F rectally for 0-3 months, or 102 F or more when taken orally or orally in children older than 3 months)

If your child has suffered a head injury (with or without bruising or external signs) and seems sluggish, dizzy, vomiting or sleepy or unresponsive;

If your child cannot move or has trouble moving arms or legs or controlling motor skills they have already mastered

If your child is choking or doesn’t seem to be breathing

When you contact a medical professional or take your child in for emergency care, you will be expected to provide answers to questions that will help the doctors, nurses and EMTs better care for your child.

Stay calm and be prepared to answer these questions:

How old is your child

Does your child have any known medical conditions or problems (including drug and/or food allergies)

What are your child’s symptoms (how long has this been happening, how often (in case of vomiting/diarrhoea, etc.)

How does your child respond (crying, unable, unresponsive)

Who is your pediatrician (if you go to an urgent care clinic or hospital rather than calling your doctor directly, they will need to know your doctor’s name in order to contact her and let her know that they are treating her patient and getting her advice)

When was your child’s last doctor? Do you have another one planned soon?

Has your baby been immunized? How recently, and for what? Did your baby get tetanus? If so, when?

What changes, if any, have you noticed recently in your baby’s regular schedule? (habits for eating, bowel or urination, sleeping, mood, etc.)

Has anyone with a health problem or contagious disease been around your child recently? Have you just fed your child something different or given him a new medicine.

And lastly, be prepared to provide information about medical coverage and the name of the pharmacy you use for your prescriptions.

The bottom line for all parents of 1-12 month olds is to stay calm in case your child has a health emergency or problem. At this young age, your child is unable to take care of his own needs and depends on you to make the right decisions. Don’t panic! Call your doctor if you think you should, and let your intuition guide you in that regard. And, if it’s an emergency, get your child to a doctor right away!

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