Today newborn baby bacterial infections are very common. There are many types of infections. Some of them are caused by viruses called viral infections and some involve the upper respiratory tract (the common cold is the prime example) which are known as viral upper respiratory tract infections. Your child’s sneezing, coughing, congestion, hoarseness, and earaches might be the signs of a bacterial infection which will require antibiotics for treatment.
Newborn babies sometimes develop infections because their immune systems are not mature enough to fight off the viruses and bacteria that can cause infections. As a result of vulnerable immune systems in the first twelve months of life, infants are slightly more susceptible to illness, and infant care for bacterial infections is often necessary. If the infection is bacterial, your child may be prescribed an antibiotic to fight the illness. Be sure to listen to your healthcare provider’s suggestions for any bacterial infections.
Signs of an Infection:
Not unlike adults and older children, it is not uncommon for newborn infants to be exposed to seasonal illnesses throughout the year. Bacterial infections are the most common and can present as:
- Your child is vomiting and has not urinated for six to eight hours
- Your child is lethargic or is not consolable
- Difficulty breathing
- Poor feeding
- Rise or fall in temperature
- Rash or skin colour change
- Constant crying
- Excessive sleepiness
- Change in behaviour
- Bluish tinge around mouth
Types of Bacterial Infections:
- Colds – Colds typically cause a runny nose and elevated temperature in children.
- Respiratory tract infections – Presenting as a cough which usually produces coloured sputum (phlegm).
- Castro-intestinal infections – Some diarrhea and vomiting bugs are caused by unpleasant bacteria which are passed via the digestive tract.
- Urinary infections – Certain pre-existing conditions can make infants more susceptible to urinary infections.
- Bacterial meningitis – Due to weakened immune systems infants are at a greater risk of problems such as meningitis. Meningitis is potentially fatal if not diagnosed early and medical treatment given.
- Sepsis – Sepsis is caused when infection is passed into the blood stream, commonly when the primary infection is left untreated and becomes complex. Extensive hospital treatment is then required, and in severe cases death may occur.
Ways to Prevent Bacterial Infections:
- Try not to have visitors who have infectious symptoms around the baby.
- Visitors should always wash their hands before holding the baby.
- Try to keep public outings to a minimum those first few weeks.
- Do proper breastfeeding
- Parents, siblings and caregivers should receive the flu vaccine each year.
- Remember to wash your hands before caring for the baby to decrease spread of infection.
- Be sure your baby also gets all his vaccines.