Being a new parent is a difficult job, especially when illness in a very young child is suspected. Many parents contact Surfside Pediatrics in Ventura, CA concerned that their baby may have an infection that needs treated with antibiotics. Our providers - Dr. Kevin White and Dr. Stacy Lowen - have compiled some information for parents about infections and how they are treated.
These infections are caused by microscopic organisms and can affect virtually any part of the body. Babies can pick up bacterial infections from a variety of sources. For instance, newborns are susceptible to transmission of a mother's bacterial infection during childbirth. Babies with bacterial infections can display elevated or reduced body temperatures, difficulty eating or rapid breathing. Fortunately, expectant mothers are screened for many bacterial infections that could put their unborn children at risk. If a bacterial infection passed during childbirth but is caught quickly, newborn babies typically respond very well to treatment, which includes IV antibiotics and careful monitoring by our Ventura pediatricians.
Viruses are organisms that are even smaller than bacteria and attach themselves to healthy cells to reproduce. Viruses cause the common cold and flu infections that are passed around during the colder months. The usual means of transmitting a virus, especially to an infant, is through the airway; when someone coughs or sneezes, droplets are released into the air and inhaled by others nearby. The symptoms of a virus often mimic that of a bacterial infection, which is why medical treatment is necessary to determine the best course of action. Since viruses do not respond to antibiotics, our Ventura pediatricians typically offer supportive care such as oxygen and methods to prevent or treat dehydration. More serious viral infections, such as herpes or HIV, may be treated with antiviral drugs to strengthen the immune system or suppress the reproduction of the virus.
If you suspect your baby has any kind of infection, please contact Surfside Pediatrics in Ventura, CA right away. Our mission is to help you and your child maintain the best health possible!