The early days of life are magical but are also fraught with anxiety for many young parents. Young babies and children are vulnerable and their health needs to be protected.
It is important to recognize that you do not have all the answers nor are you expected to have them. You must learn to recognize when it is appropriate to deal with an issue yourself and when you should get some help.
Here are some of the most common health issues that babies and young children face in their early years.
All babies will have some discomfort when their teeth break through the gum. The baby can become distressed, drool a lot and seem to want to bite everything. Sometimes it is possible to see a tiny tooth breaking through the surface of the gum just when your baby starts to get fractious. It is important not confuse this with something more serious. Teething does not cause babies to have a high fever so you should always seek medical attention if your baby is feverish.
There are lots of teething products on the market but some are potentially harmful. If you feel that your baby has been injured by them you should find a good lawyer.
Oral thrush is a fungal infection that is commonly seen in babies. It is caused by a fungus called Candida. We all have it in our mouths and digestive tracts but its growth is usually kept in check by bacteria and our own immune system.
In babies, the immune system is not fully developed and so there can be an overgrowth of Candida. Babies can also get an infection in the diaper area at the same time.
You first notice that something is wrong when your baby has cracked skin in the corners of the mouth but the classic symptom is whitish patches on the lips, tongue, or inside the cheeks. It can look a little like cottage cheese and it is not easily wiped away. It can make babies feel uncomfortable when they are sucking and can disrupt breastfeeding. It should always be checked out by a doctor.
Infections in general
All babies get infections as they are being exposed to bacteria and viruses for the first time. Their immune systems are still developing and do not work properly. All infections must be checked out by a doctor because they can lead to severe health problems.
Ear infections are extremely common in babies and young children and are very painful. They are usually caused by a virus and the infection travels from the throat into the inner ear. The inflammation causes the pain and can even cause the ear drum to bulge.
Your baby will be very distressed and may even try to touch the affected area. You must see a doctor who will advise you on what to do.
Gastro-enteric infections are also common in babies and they may suffer from vomiting and diarrhea. In babies, this can lead to dehydration very rapidly and so a doctor should be consulted immediately.
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