When bacteria are in your child's bloodstream it’s called bacteremia. This condition is most commonly tested for in children 3 months to 3 years of age. Bacteremia is a problem if it causes a fever and makes your child sick. In most cases, your child’s immune system removes the bacteria from the bloodstream with no harm.
Bacteremia is usually caused by bacteria that grows normally in the nose and throat or other parts of the body and then gets into the bloodstream. The bacteria may be spread from person to person by coughing or sneezing, or from touching something that has the bacteria on it, such as toys or door knobs. The bacteria may also be those that live in and on our bodies. Once a child is infected, usually the child's immune system will get rid of the bacteria without treatment. The immune system is the body’s defense against infection. Depending on the type of bacteria and your child's health, your child may develop a serious infection that affects his entire body, which can be fatal.
The main symptom is fever.
Your child’s healthcare provider will ask about your child’s symptoms and medical history and examine your child. Your child will have blood tests to check for bacteria.
Bacterial infections may be treated with antibiotic medicine usually given by IV.
If your child is seriously ill or there is concern that the bacteria has spread to another part of her body, your child may need to stay in the hospital for treatment.
Follow the full course of treatment prescribed by your healthcare provider. In addition:
Ask your child’s provider:
Make sure you know when your child should come back for a checkup. Keep all appointments for provider visits or tests.
Keep your child’s shots up to date. Many of the shots routinely given during childhood protect against the types of bacteria that can cause bacteremia.