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Baby Health: Runny Noses

Babies can get ill suddenly or develop a fever that comes to nothing - how can you read the signs of a runny nose?

Posted: 16 June 2009
by ThinkBaby

It can be easy to panic when you baby seems unwell. Usually a sickness will pass quickly and harmlessly, but it’s a good idea to know the basics of baby health. So read on below, and it might be a good idea to also check out Babies and the Common Cold.

When to call the doctor

With any baby health worry, contact your GP or call NHS Direct on 0845 4647 if your baby:
  • Has temperature of 38°C of higher
  • Has forceful, repeated vomiting that continues for more than 24 hours
  • Is particularly lethargic or irritable
  • Has diarrhoea for more than 24 hours
  • Has a swollen abdomen
  • Shows signs of dehydration – dry mouth, dark yellow urine, dry nappy for six to eight hours
  • Has blood in her poo or in vomit
  • Has convulsions
  • Refuses feeds for more than six to eight hours
  • Shows signs of jaundice (yellow whites of eyes and a yellowish, tanned look to the skin)

All about: Runny Noses

Could it be?
Undeveloped sinuses Sinuses don’t fully develop until we’re teenagers; hence newborn’s noses are prone to running.
What to do Just keep cleaning her up!

Could it be?
Common cold While your baby is building up her immunity, she’s likely to catch colds. She’ll have the snivels and be bunged up, but should be better within five to seven days.
What to do There’s no reason to medicate, but if your baby is really suffering, Ellie has these tips. Calpol Night is brilliant if your baby is over three months – it helps babies breathe by drying up all the secretions. For smaller babies, mucus extractors are fantastic. They look a bit like turkey basters, with a bulb on one end: you put the other end by your baby’s nose, let go of the bulb and it sucks the snot out. Vapour plugs can also work really well.

Could it be?
Flu It should be easy to identify flu: your baby will be miserable with a headache, sore throat, fever, coughing and sometimes sickness and diarrhoea.
What to do It’s not always necessary to call your doctor if your baby has flu – it depends on how you’re coping. If you’re confident that your baby just has flu, you don’t have to visit the doctor. But if you need reassurance or you’ve got a tiny baby with a high temperature (38°C) who’s not taking fluids, see your GP.

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