Detecting sepsis early and starting immediate treatment is often the difference between life and death. Parents and caregivers must seek immediate medical care if they suspect their child has an infection that is not improving or is getting worse. Sepsis may have been preceded by an infection such as a urinary tract infection, pneumonia, or a skin or bone infection.
Important Note: Many of these signs and symptoms alone are common in babies and children when they are sick. Most of the time, they do not have sepsis. However, when more than one of these signs and symptoms happen together, or when a baby or child just seems sicker than usual—you should seek medical help. If your baby or child's skin is cold, pale, or has developed strange colors or markings; if your baby or child has become unresponsive or is struggling to breathe; or if your baby has dry diapers for more than 12 hours—you should take him or her to the emergency room without delay.
Fast breathing and/or shortness of breath
Here is a great article on how to determine if your child is in respiratory distress: https://www.kidnurse.org/respiratory-distress/
A fever above 101ºF (38ºC) or a temperature below 96.8ºF (36ºC). A fever that will not go away. (newborns and infants may have low temperature)
Decreased urinary function or dry diaper for 12 or more hours.
Nausea or vomiting
Normal Heart Rate:
- Infant (to 12 months): 100-160 beats per minute (bpm)
- Toddler (1-3 years): 90-150 bpm
- Preschooler (3-5 years): 80-140 bpm
- School-aged child (5-12 years): 70-120 bpm
- Adolescent (12-18 years): 60-100 bpm
Hands and/or feet are cold to touch
Disoriented, confused or not acting like themselves.
Pale in color or blue tint around lips
Hard to wake up or rouse, Extremely sleepy
Not eating or drinking and inability to keep food down