5 Things to Check When Baby is Sick: Is it a Cold? The Flu or More Serious?

When your baby is sick, it can be hard to tell what’s wrong. Is it a cold? Is it the flu? Is this something more serious that requires medical attention? In this blog post, we’ll talk about 5 things you should do when your baby has an illness to help determine if they have a cold or the flu and how serious their condition might be.

Trying to figure out if your young child just has a harmless sniffle or is actually seriously unwell can be challenging for even the most experienced parent. It can be unnerving – and downright scary – when you don’t know what’s going on for your little person. And of course, any concern is exacerbated when your bub is too young to tell you how they’re feeling.

Fortunately, there are signs you can look for that will help you know if your child is unwell.

They have a temperature

If your child’s temperature is going up it’s an indication that they may have an infection like a viral or bacterial bug. Getting an accurate reading of their body temperature is important, and you’ll want to monitor this regularly for any changes. As the definition of a fever differs between ages, using a reliable thermometer like the Braun Thermos can 7 Ear Thermometer will allow you to read your child’s temperature quickly and easily.

The Thermos can uses Agemate technology that can be programmed for your child’s age, and has a color-coded display so can know for sure if they have a temperature: a green screen suggests no fever, a yellow screen suggests moderate fever, and red signals high fever.

The Thermoscan also has a handy memory recall function so that you can track if your child’s temperature is rising by simply placing the tip at your child’s ear.

Baby’s behaviour changes

You know your baby best. Most babies have unsettled behavior throughout the day. But if there’s a change in their usual patterns, like being more unsettled than usual, continuously crying, they don’t want to be put down, or they become less responsive than usual, it may be a sign they’re unwell.

Breathing problems

If your child starts having shallow breaths, is breathing more quickly, is grunting or has laboured breathing, these may be signs of an infection or asthma. If you’re concerned about your child’s breathing, it may be worth taking a video to show your doctor.

Skin differences or rashes

The appearance of a purple or red rash, or if the baby’s skin is looking blue or paler than usual, could be an indication they’re unwell. Babies can be prone to rashes and some are no cause for concern. But if the rash is accompanied by a fever, it could be a sign of a serious illness, so if their temperature has gone up, it’s time to see the doctor.

Changes in feeding and nappies

Illness in your young child may cause them to be dehydrated. You can monitor this by checking your child’s fluid intake and their wet nappies. If they have less than half the number of usual wet nappies or they have vomiting or diarrhoea this could be a sign they have a virus.

If your baby has a fever, it’s always worth having them checked out by your doctor.


Is it a cold? Is this something more serious that requires medical attention? Is your baby unwell? Use these signs to determine if they have a cold or the flu and how serious their condition might be.

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