The #InfantIllnesses Series: It's probably not as serious as you think, but let's be sure!

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A guide to help parents. (FreshSplash/Getty Images)
A guide to help parents. (FreshSplash/Getty Images)

Having a newborn baby is overwhelming enough, but then if they show signs of illness, it can be really scary. 

At Parent24 we've worked with local paediatricians to put together a series on common infant illnesses, to help guide you when baby is sick. And we'll help you to decide when you should actually panic. 

It's probably not as serious as you think, but let's be sure! 

Check in for ongoing updates and expert advice. 

Infant Illnesses | Spotlight on colic

A typical concern: 

"My two-month-old baby has suddenly started crying every night! I don’t know what to do! What could it be?"

Answer: 

Your baby might have what is commonly known as colic.

Dr Michael Platten, specialist paediatrician at the Life Bedford Gardens Hospital in Gauteng says it's "one of the most common complaints we see in the first three months after birth".

Infant Illnesses: Spotlight on baby acne

A typical concern:

"My 5 weeks old baby has a bad rash and bumps on his face. Is there anything I can use on his skin to make it better? How long will it last?"

Answer:

It seems like your baby has baby acne. 

We talk to Professor Carol Hlela, a paediatric dermatologist from Ingress Healthcare about this common condition which affects up to 40% of all babies.

Infant Illnesses | Spotlight on Respiratory Syncytial Virus

A typical concern: 

"My five-month-old baby has developed a runny nose and a cough that just won't go away. It seems to get better at times so I haven't been to see a doctor but the symptoms remain. Starting to worry now. What should I do?" 

Answer

Your baby might have respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). 

We talk to paediatrician Dr Iqbal Karbanee, founder of the local prescription-based helpline Paed-IQ BabyLine about the a fairly common infection which presents persistent symptoms not unlike the common cold.

Infant Illnesses | Spotlight on tonsillitis

A typical concern

"My one-year-old has come down with a fever and has bad breathe! I'm worried that it's serious because she won't eat anything! What could it be?"

Answer

Your baby might have tonsillitis. 

It isn't very common in babies who "are more likely to have upper respiratory tract symptoms such as a runny nose, congestion, snoring or a cough".

Dr Michael Platten, a specialist paediatrician at the Gauteng-based Life Bedford Gardens Hospital, shares what to expect when dealing with tonsillitis. 

Infant Illnesses | Spotlight on hand, foot and mouth disease

A typical concern

"My two-year-old has come down with flu and has what looks like blisters on his hands and feet! He also has a fever, what could it be?"

Answer

Your baby might have hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD). 

"HFMD is not extremely common. Outbreaks usually occur in crèches and pre-schools as the virus spreads from one child to another before the actual rash appears". 

Dr Iqbal Karbanee, a paediatrician and CEO of SA's first telehealth service, Paed-IQ BabyLine, Dr Karbanee says HFMD begins "like the normal flu, with the child looking ill, developing a fever and loss of appetite".

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