Acutely ill infant
Signs and symptoms are often difficult to interpret in infants, so a complete examination must always be conducted. An infant may present with only a few signs even when seriously ill. The younger the infant, the more likely it is that the illness is serious and will require hospitalization. In practice, 3 months may be considered as the cut off point; particular vigilance should be exercised if the infant is less than 1 month old.Listen to the parents. A detailed history will guide the doctor more quickly towards the right diagnosis, and unnecessary investigations need not be carried out.An afebrile infant with good muscle tone, who feeds well and shows satisfactory growth is rarely seriously ill.If the general condition of the infant is reduced, make an emergency referral for further care in a hospital.