Most infections in newborn babies are caused by bacteria, and some by viruses. A mother’s birth canal contains bacteria, especially if they have an active infection. During childbirth, the baby can swallow or breathe in the fluid in the birth canal, and bacteria or viruses can get into their lungs and blood.
How do I know if my baby has an infection?
Call your child’s doctor or seek emergency medical care if your new baby shows any of these possible signs of infection:
- poor feeding.
- breathing difficulty.
- decreased or elevated temperature.
- unusual skin rash or change in skin color.
- persistent crying.
- unusual irritability.
What kind of infections can newborns get?
Some of the more serious infections in newborns include the following:
- Bacterial meningitis.
- Cytomegalovirus (CMV)
- Hepatitis B virus (HBV)
- Herpes simplex virus (HSV)
- Hospital-acquired infections.
What medicine can you give a 2 week old baby?
Normally, the only thing a doctor will allow you to give your infant is infant Tylenol (acetaminophen).
How common are infections in newborns?
Bacterial infection is a common cause of illness in newborn babies and is treated with antibiotics. Group B streptococcus (GBS) is a common type of bacteria which is the most frequent cause of serious infection in newborn babies. Around one in 1,000 babies in the UK develops a GBS infection.
When do babies need antibiotics?
Antibiotics do little to speed up your child’s recovery from most common infections. However if your child has a more serious bacterial infection such as meningitis or pneumonia they will require treatment with antibiotics.
How do I know if my child has a bacterial infection?
Your child has bacterial gastroenteritis. This is an infection in the intestinal tract caused by bacteria. This infection causes diarrhea (passing of loose, watery stools).
Bacterial Diarrhea (Infant/Toddler)
- Belly pain and cramping.
- Nausea and vomiting.
- Fever and chills.
- Blood or mucus in stools.
Who is most at risk for bacterial infections?
Pregnant women, elderly individuals, infants, and those with weakened immune systems are most at risk for acquiring this infection. Salmonella causes fever, diarrhea, and abdominal cramps. Symptoms typically last between 4 and 7 days.
Why would a newborn baby need antibiotics?
Early in an infection, babies can look very well but they can become sick very quickly. If your baby is at increased risk of infection, or is showing mild signs of infection, then we start antibiotics to try to prevent them from developing symptoms of serious illness.
What are the signs of sepsis in a newborn?
In newborns, sepsis can cause swelling throughout the body and possible organ failure.
Symptoms of infections in newborns include:
- Not feeding well.
- Being very sleepy.
- Being very irritable.
- Rapid breathing or breathing pauses (apnea)
- Vomiting or diarrhea.
- Fever (temperature over 100.4 degrees F or over 38.1 degrees C)
Can antibiotics harm a newborn baby?
Antibiotics in pregnancy can alter the mother’s and therefore the baby’s microbiome, affecting early immune responses. This may increase the risk of infection in childhood.