Infants are vulnerable right after birth. As they make a transition from the womb to the physical world, their different body parts learn to coordinate.
Though most newborns are born healthy, many factors during or after delivery can cause some health complications.
Since an infant can’t communicate, their only way to express discomfort is through crying. Hence, parents should consciously look for signs and symptoms of any possible risk and seek medical care immediately.
This article discusses the five most common health risks in infants. Read on to explore more.
#1 Abdominal Distension
Distended or bloating is a harmless health condition in infants. The major cause of abdominal distension is when the newborn swallows too much air during feeding.
Common symptoms include a swollen and hard belly, irritability, and constant crying.
It could also be a sign of gas and constipation as the infant gets introduced to feeding. Once he/she adjusts to feeding, this problem should naturally go away.
#2 Congenital Hypothyroidism
Hypothyroidism refers to a condition when there’s a low level of thyroid hormone. When a baby is born with low levels of thyroid hormone, it’s called congenital hypothyroidism.
At the time of newborn screening tests, the doctors usually detect if there are low blood levels of thyroid hormone.
This condition should be immediately treated to ensure that your baby grows and develops as he should.
Vomiting and spitting up the milk are common among infants. This persists in mild form until the child becomes ten to twelve months old. This is why mothers tend to burp their children frequently, which prevents frequent throw up and vomiting.
Parents are advised to closely monitor their children during the first few months and check if their vomiting is greenish in color.
And if it is, it could be a sign of an underlying health condition, an infection, or digestive problems.
#4 Cold and Fever
Cold and flu are common in newborns as they adjust to the outside environment. Although cold seems pretty normal, symptoms in the long-term can also be a cause of pneumonia. Fever, on the other hand, indicates that the baby is dealing with an infection.
Again, it is normal, but if the temperature rises above 101, it could be a symptom of seizures or brain damage.
Hence, make sure to take your infant for regular doctor visits and ensure that he/she is safe.
Jaundice is a fairly common condition in infants, with yellowing skin and whites of the eyes the main symptoms. The yellowish pigmentation of the skin is due to excess bilirubin in the baby’s blood.
Many infants are even born with neonatal jaundice, where the baby’s blood is not matured enough to remove the excess bilirubin.
To check whether your baby has jaundice, press gently on your baby’s forehead; if the skin looks yellow, chances are the baby is suffering from mild jaundice.
Most often, health issues in newborns disappear with time as they grow by each day and learn to adjust to the outside world. Yet, parents should be careful.
Actively look for signs and symptoms that are causing discomfort to your child and go for regular checkups with the pediatrician.