Meningitis in Babies under 6 Months

… Continued …

Use your instinct!

As your baby cannot tell you how she /he is feeling, use your instinct (remember, you know your baby best)!

Seek help promptly if you suspect that your baby has meningitis or experience some meningitis symptoms, such as; a stiff body, rash, high-pitched crying, unresponsive, high fever, and vomiting (refusing to feed). This is particularly true if the symptoms get worse or last longer than what you expect.

Don’t wait for meningitis rash to appear!

Unusual rash, which usually doesn’t fade under pressure, is the classic symptom of meningitis and septicemia (bloodstream infection). Since early treatment is important, don’t wait this symptom to appear.

But if your baby does get a rash, perform the Tumbler test! Use a clear glass, and then press it firmly against the spot. If you can see clearly the rash through the glass and it doesn’t fade – seek urgent medical help, even if you only find a few spots!

Check also the entire body for other marks! For darker skin, it could be more difficult to catch them – so check the lighter skin (for examples; the roof of the mouth, soles of feet and palms of hands).

What else?

If your baby has had contact with a person with meningitis, ask your doctor for more guidance. If necessary, preventive medication may be prescribed to give more protection.

Treatments

The treatment plan for meningitis is dependent on the cause and type of the disease. Viral meningitis often gets better in time, typically within a couple of weeks. Many times it is mild and hospitalization is usually not required.

But immediate treatment is important for bacterial meningitis. Intravenous antibiotics are often used to cure the infection. In severe cases, intensive care is necessary to keep monitoring the body’s vital functions.

Sometimes additional treatment might be required. If a significant drop of blood pressure occurs, additional medications such as IV fluids might be given. Patients may also require mechanical ventilation or supplemental oxygen if they experience difficulty breathing.

Once the infection has cleared up, it’s still important to make sure that the disease doesn’t leave lingering effects. For example, a hearing test is often suggested since impaired hearing is common after meningitis.

Again, meningitis in babies can turn into serious. But with early and prompt treatment, it will relieve without leaving serious complications.

Article sources:

  1. https://www.nct.org.uk/parenting/meningitis
  2. http://www.meningitis.org/symptoms/babies