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Illnesses, injuries and accidents When your calm response matters

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What to do when your baby is sick

 1. Fever is one of the signs of sickness. So take your baby’s temperature if you think your baby has a fever. And call your doctor if your baby’s temperature is over 100.4 degrees or under 97.8 degrees. Don’t wait until the temperature is 103. (Just keep in mind that babies are too young to hold a thermometer in their mouths. So try to use a digital thermometer. Just ask your doctor about how and when to use these thermometers.) 2. Write down what the number is, how you took it and the time. 3. Write down what you see that makes you think the baby is sick. 4. Make notes about your baby’s skin color. 5. Write down if your baby is crying. Note if your baby is throwing up or has watery poop (diarrhea).

Other times to call the doctor 

You should call the doctor anytime your baby is not acting or looking normal. You’ll soon learn what is normal for your baby. It’s always best to talk with your baby’s doctor if you’re worried. Call the doctor if your baby has any of the following conditions:

  • A temperature over 100.4 degrees or under
  • 97.8 degrees
  • Vomiting that shoots 2 or 3 feet out of the
  • mouth (projectile vomiting)
  • Vomiting that continues for more than 6 hours
  • A tummy that feels very swollen and tight
  • Two or more times of green, watery diarrhea, or
  • more than 10 soft poops in 24 hours
  • Refusing to eat 2 feedings in a row
  • Discharge or bleeding from any openings
  • (except from the vagina of a newborn girl less
  • than 1 week old)
  • Coughing or choking while feeding (make sure
  • that the milk is not flowing too fast from the
  • bottle nipple)
  • Crying that continues for more than 1 to 4
  • hours a day
  • Skin that looks very pale or bluish, and baby’s
  • hands are cold
  • Jaundice (a yellow tint to the skin) that starts or
  • gets worse after you bring the baby home from
  • the hospital
  • An infection around the cord or circumcised
  • penis that is red and has pus

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