SE­RI­OUS ILL­NESS

Mother & Baby (Australia) - - Celeb Mama -

QWhat are the key signs of menin­gi­tis in a baby?

APae­di­a­tri­cian Dr Mike Starr says:

The signs and symp­toms of menin­gi­tis can vary de­pend­ing on the age of the child. Symp­toms can be very non-spe­cific in ba­bies. For ex­am­ple a baby with menin­gi­tis may present with fever and vom­it­ing and very lit­tle else.

Other ‘typ­i­cal’ fea­tures in­clude a re­fusal to feed, ir­ri­tabil­ity, dis­like of be­ing han­dled and /or cry­ing when moved, a high-pitched cry, lethargy, a bulging fontanelle (soft spot on top of head), seizures (fits), dis­like of bright lights (pho­to­pho­bia) and a rash (this is par­tic­u­larly in one type of menin­gi­tis, caused by meningo­coc­cal bac­te­ria).

The rash may start as pink, pur­ple or red spots. It may de­velop into a rash that looks like bruis­ing. It can start any­where on the body and is due to blood poi­son­ing (sep­ti­caemia), which some­times oc­curs with menin­gi­tis. The rash does not usu­ally fade when pressed (how­ever this is not al­ways a re­li­able test).

Ba­bies with menin­gi­tis can be­come sick very quickly, so if your baby dis­plays any of these signs, take her to your lo­cal doc­tor for as­sess­ment.

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