You may have heard about the condition “sepsis”, commonly known as blood poisoning at one point in your life or another. This article is to provide a briefing on sepsis, its risk factors, and its signs and symptoms.
Babies and children are no different from adults when they encounter infections. Their immune system fights the invading culprit. However, the immune system’s response to an infection can get out of control, leading to a life-threatening condition called sepsis.
This condition happens when the body’s response to an already-present infection gets out of hand and attacks the organs and tissues.
Who can be septic?
Sepsis can develop in children or adults of any age. It is most common in:
1. infants under 3 months
2. Children with chronic medical conditions and lastly
3. Children with HIV, or other conditions that weaken the immune system
Signs and symptoms to look out for
Experiencing one of these signs doesn’t mean a child has sepsis. However, when a few of these things happen together, it’s a clue that sepsis is possible:
2. Fast heartbeat and also
3. Complaints of pain (babies might just cry a lot)
4. Confusion, in addition to
5. Shortness of breath
7. Fast breathing
Ways to protect your child
There is no way to prevent all cases of this condition. However, there are ways to protect a child from many infections that can lead to it:
1. Ensure your child receives vaccinations for Streptococcus pneumoniae and Haemophilus influenzae at the ages and dosages recommended.
2. Wash hands frequently when coming in contact with your kids to prevent infection.
1. Sylvia O.(2017). Sepsis in Infants & Children. Available at https://healthychildren.org
2. Yale Medicine. Pediatric Sepsis: Symptoms, Diagnosis & Treatment. Available at https://yalemedicine.com
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