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Baby Meningitis

This is an inflammation of the lining of the brain and spinal cord. It can be life threatening however this depends on the type of meningitis your child may have. There are two types – bacterial Meningitis which can be life threatening or Meningitis viral which is less serious but still should be treated with the utmost care.

Bacterial meningitis and blood poisoning (septicaemia)

Bacterial meningitis carries the risk of bacteria entering the blood stream which can lead to blood poisoning (septicaemia). This requires urgent medical treatment and a trip to the nearest hospital or health care provider is required.

Viral meningitis requires no specific treatment other than running its course.

Symptoms for Baby Meningitis

The symptoms for both types are very similar to other childhood diseases however there is a more rapid deterioration of the child’s symptoms and you may find they get ill more quickly.

There is a check list available which is important for you to read and ensure the correct diagnosis.

This includes:-

  • Fever
  • Refusal to feed
  • A high pitched moan or wail
  • Vomiting
  • Cold hands and feet
  • Very sleepy or hard to wake
  • Pale or blotchy skin
  • Being irritable when being picked up
  • A stiff body with jerky movements or else the opposite – lifeless and floppy
  • A bulging fontanelle (head soft spot)
  • Red or purple spots that do not fade when a glass is pressed over them. If your child is coloured then try this test out on their hands or feet. Call an ambulance immediately if this happens.

Treatment for Baby Meningitis

If your child shows some of the above symptoms then it is important to contact your local GP immediately. Do not wait until a rash appears as this can harm your child.

Antibiotics may be given immediately before other tests are administered. Antibiotics will give your child a better chance of recovery of bacterial meningitis. If your child is diagnosed with viral meningitis then these antibiotics will make no difference to your childs recovery. This type of meningitis you have to wait till the bodies own anti bodies overcome it naturally.

Incubation Period

There is no specified incubation period for this

Infectious period

None identified.

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