New parents often have a hard time determining why their baby seems to be irritated and uncomfortable, and what exactly is wrong. Not to worry! Here are some of the most common illnesses infants are prone to, and how you may recognize them.
One in two newborns around the world is affected by jaundice, according to research. Jaundice is caused by the breakdown of fetal hemoglobin, resulting in an excess of bilirubin. This leads to a yellowish pigmentation of the infant’s skin.
Neonatal jaundice usually lasts a few weeks and resolves over time. It is one of the most prevalent medical conditions in babies, caused because their livers aren’t fully developed to metabolize the excess bilirubin. Although mild jaundice is not dangerous, severely increased levels of bilirubin can lead to brain damage if left untreated.
Diaper rash is yet another very common condition in infants. Their skin around the buttocks and thighs becomes red and irritable, causing the babies great discomfort.
Treating diaper rash is simple. Rinse the affected area each time after changing diapers, and do this more frequently. A protective ointment may also be used to ease the irritation caused, and the diapers should be fastened more loosely. Try switching diaper brands to see if a particular kind is causing the rashes.
Up to 19% of infants are affected by baby colic, which is a condition in which an otherwise healthy baby cries excessively, seemingly without a reason. This usually happens when the baby feels discomfort but isn’t quite able to express it, resulting in long periods of crying. If the crying continues for over three weeks, for up to 3 hours at a time, it’s most likely because of colic.
Since the exact causes of colic remain to be a mystery, it can be tricky for parents to diagnose and cope with this illness. However, colic usually passes by the time the baby turns 3 months old. If it persists longer, you may need to visit a doctor.
If your baby has a persistent cough, it may be a sign of a problem in the digestive system or the lungs. Continuous coughing and gagging can be caused if the milk flow during feeding is too fast, which can result in respiratory problems. Take care while feeding your baby to ensure that they’re not getting too much milk too fast.
Respiratory Syncytial Virus
RSV affects children under the age of 2, and is a highly contagious virus. The symptoms usually present through sneezing, coughing, and a reduced appetite, although in more severe cases these may be accompanied by breathing difficulties and high fevers. Because the body isn’t getting sufficient oxygen supply, the skin may even turn bluish.
RSV can be a serious condition and needs doctor’s consultation immediately. With proper treatment and medical aid, the infant can recover as quickly as within a week.
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