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.