Ill appearance

When presented with a baby, an assessing healthcare professional can get an impression that the baby looks ill. This impression is formed not only from objective measurements but also from subjective feelings about how the baby looks and reacts. If a healthcare professional’s subjective instinct is to describe the baby as ‘ill-looking’ then the baby is most likely at high risk of serious illness. Healthcare professionals should be confident to follow their impressions of a baby’s wellbeing.