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Necrotizing Enterocolitis in Children
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
Necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) is a disease that causes infection and inflammation in your baby's bowel. It usually happens within the first 2 weeks after birth and is more common in premature infants.
- Antibiotics: This medicine will help fight or prevent an infection. Make sure your child takes his antibiotics until they are gone, even if he feels better.
- Pain medicine: Your child may need medicine to take away or decrease pain. Know how often your child should get the medicine and how much. Watch for signs of pain in your child. Tell healthcare providers if his pain continues or gets worse. To prevent falls, stay with your child to help him get out of bed.
- Do not give aspirin to children under 18 years of age. Your child could develop Reye syndrome if he takes aspirin. Reye syndrome can cause life-threatening brain and liver damage. Check your child's medicine labels for aspirin, salicylates, or oil of wintergreen.
- Give your child's medicine as directed. Contact your child's healthcare provider if you think the medicine is not working as expected. Tell him or her if your child is allergic to any medicine. Keep a current list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs your child takes. Include the amounts, and when, how, and why they are taken. Bring the list or the medicines in their containers to follow-up visits. Carry your child's medicine list with you in case of an emergency.
Follow up with your child's healthcare provider as directed:
Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your child's visits.
Nutrition for your baby:
A dietitian may talk to you about your baby's nutrition. Ask if it is okay to breastfeed your baby or what formula you should feed him. Ask how frequently you should feed your baby and when to increase the amount of milk. You may need to give your baby special formula or oils to help him grow.
Wash your hands often.
Use soap and water. Wash your hands after you use the bathroom, change a child's diapers, or sneeze. Wash your hands before you prepare or eat food.
Contact your child's healthcare provider if:
- Your baby has a fever.
- Your baby is irritable or crying more than usual.
- Your baby's skin is itchy, swollen, or has a rash.
- You have questions or concerns about your child's condition or care.
Seek care immediately or call 911 if:
- Your baby has trouble breathing or his lips and fingernails turn blue.
- Your baby is not able to eat or drink or urinates less or not at all.
- Your baby has a seizure.
- Your baby looks very weak or sleeps more than normal.
- There is blood in your baby's vomit or diaper.
- Your baby's wound or bandage has pus or smells bad.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.
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