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Decreased alertness in a baby or child

Decreased alertness refers to a noticeable change in a child's typical interactions with the people and things around the child. Decreased alertness may indicate a serious health problem and may include one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Difficulty waking up
  • Limpness or weak muscle tone. A child over 3 months of age may not move for an extended period of time and show no desire to move.
  • A weak or feeble cry
  • Unresponsiveness to touch or voice
  • Inability to suck for two or more feedings in a row
  • A vacant stare. Children over 3 months of age may not make eye contact.
Author Jan Nissl, RN, BS
Editor Susan Van Houten, RN, BSN, MBA
Associate Editor Tracy Landauer
Primary Medical Reviewer Michael J. Sexton, MD - Pediatrics
Specialist Medical Reviewer Alexander H. Murray, MD, FRCPC - Dermatology
Last Updated August 1, 2008

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: August 01, 2008
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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