Babies and toddlers
Meningitis and septicaemia often happen together. Be aware of all the signs and symptoms.
Symptoms can appear in any order. Some may not appear at all.
Common signs and symptoms
- Fever, cold hands & feet
- Refusing food & vomiting
- Fretful, dislike being handled
- Drowsy, floppy, unresponsive
- Rapid breathing or grunting
- Pale, blotchy skin. Spots/rash, see Glass Test
- Unusual cry, moaning
- Tense bulging fontanelle
- Neck stiffness, dislike bright lights
Early symptoms can include fever, headache, vomiting, muscle pain and fever with cold hands and feet.
If you suspect meningitis or septicaemia, get medical help immediately.
- Call NHS Direct or NHS 24 or your GP.
- Go to your nearest accident and emergency department.
- Dial 999 for an ambulance.
- Describe the symptoms carefully and say that you think it could be meningitis or septicaemia.
- Early diagnosis can be difficult. If you have had advice and are still worried, get medical help again.
Trust your instincts – get medical help immediately.
Call us on our 24-hour helpline: