Meningitis is one of those illnesses that can cause you to break out in a sweat at the very mention of it.
Potentially lethal, it can cause nasty side effects, is highly contagious and once spotted needs to be dealt with quickly.
There are two different types of meningitis: viral and bacterial.
While the viral one is more common it tends to clear up on its own; bacterial meningitis, however, is extremely dangerous and can develop quickly without warning.
If your baby does have the bacterial form, they will need to be treated straight away as there is a risk of brain damage and even death.
It is important to realise that while the normal symptoms of the virus - a stiff neck or headache - may be difficult to spot in babies, there are other signs to look out for.
- Sensitivity to light
- Being too sleepy to wake up
- High temperature
- Bulging soft spot
- Unusual grunting noises
- Excessive shivering
- Cold hands and feet
- Blotchy skin
- Stiff body
The glass test
Most mums are probably already familiar with the glass test, but it is one of the most common ways to check if a rash needs to be of concern. Simply get a clear, glass tumbler and press it firmly onto your child’s rash. If it doesn't disappear as the pressure is applied you will need to take your little one to the hospital immediately.
What to do if you suspect it
If your suspect your child has either form, it is imperative you call the doctor mentioning your concerns straight away.