Fortunately, a sore throat or sore neck, which are very common symptoms, are not usually signs or symptoms of meningitis.
Instead, the more classic sign of meningitis is a stiff neck.
This is why your pediatrician will often ask your child to look at the ceiling and down at his toes if he suspects that your child might have meningitis.
Meningitis SymptomsIn addition to a stiff neck, other common meningitis symptoms can include:
- severe headache
- sensitivity to light (photophobia)
- mental status changes, such as lethargy, delirium, hallucinations, etc.
- a bulging fontanel in infants whose fontanel or soft spot hasn't closed yet
- a rash
Meningitis TestsIf your pediatrician suspects that your child has meningitis, then he will likely do a lumbar puncture or spinal tap.
In addition to helping your pediatrician figure out if your child has meningitis, a spinal tap will determine if it is viral meningitis or bacterial meningitis, which is important, as they have very different treatments.