Tips to Measure Temperature in Children and Reduce Fever in a Safe Way
All parents, sooner or later, face an increase in the baby’s temperature. To do everything right and not worry much, use our tips to measure children's temperature and lower it safely at home.
In infants, body temperature stabilizes only at the age of 11-12 months. Until that time, it can be higher by 0.5-1 degrees. To track the dynamics of changes in an infant's temperature from birth to one year, parents need to know all the measurements' features.
Here are some essential tips to relieve you of unnecessary anxiety and help manage your baby’s temperature. What baby temperature supposed to be, and what baby temperature is dangerous? In this article, you will learn several ways to measure your baby's temperature and actions you can take to cope with a fever. Stay tuned to find out more!
How to Take Baby’s Temperature
Modern measuring devices allow you to get information about the baby’s temperature even in the first days of a baby's life. To measure a newborn's temperature, electronic and infrared thermometers are an excellent option. With the help of the latter, you can measure the temperature in a non-contact way. To do this, hold the device near the child's ear or forehead until the beep sounds.
You should never forget the general recommendations:
- using a mercury thermometer is unsafe;
- the most suitable place for a thermometer is the armpit, ear, inguinal folds;
- measurement through the mouth or anus can damage the membranes;
- the child should be in a calm state;
- it is necessary to ensure that the thermometer is in close contact with the body.
So, where to check the baby’s temperature? Currently, pediatricians offer five main methods for determining the baby’s temperature from birth to one year old. You need to consult a doctor about all the existing methods:
- Rectally - the electronic thermometer is one of the mom must-haves. This method gives the most accurate numbers;
- Orally - 1-1.5 hours after a meal, an electronic thermometer is placed under the baby's tongue. A warning signal will sound within a few minutes;
- Orally - offer your baby a pacifier with a built-in body temperature sensor. It is very convenient to use this baby temperature thermometer;
- In the armpit - this method involves the use of a more accurate electronic thermometer. The duration of the procedure is 1-3 minutes;
- Non-contact - an innovative infrared thermometer instantly detects the temperature without touching the baby.
How to Take Rectal Temperature Correctly
With a two-month-old baby's constant activity, the most comfortable way to measure baby temperature is the rectal method.
To get accurate numbers and not harm the baby, everything must be done in a specific sequence:
- put the baby on the side or back and bend the knees slightly;
- lubricate 1 inch of a thermometer with baby cream or oil;
- insert the device into the rectum by 1 inch;
- wait for the signal;
- carefully remove the electronic thermometer.
What is a normal baby’s temperature? Unlike the usual 36.8° C baby temperature underarm, in the rectum, normal body temperature varies within 37.4 -37.5° C, in the mouth - 37.1-37.3° C.
How Can You Help Your Child
High baby temperature is dangerous due to the rapid development of dehydration and febrile seizures. Fortunately, in most cases, these consequences can be avoided if you know some important recommendations. At high body temperature, the child rapidly loses fluid. To prevent this and normalize thermoregulation, you need to:
- give the child warm (not hot) water in small amounts (too much water in small children at a time can cause vomiting);
- wipe the baby's body with warm water (in no case should you wipe the child with alcohol or vinegar);
- change your baby's clothes, choose light clothing made from natural fabric;
- ventilate and humidify the room;
Do you need to reduce the temperature before the pediatrician arrives?
If the child has a fever, weakness, and pain, it is better to call the doctor. If the baby’s temperature is above 38° C, it is better to reduce it. Only your pediatrician can recommend medicines to break a fever. For example, you can find out about this in advance, just in case, during a routine examination.
When to call a doctor immediately
When to take the baby's temperature and call a doctor? During a high baby temperature with teething, breathing becomes more frequent, and the child may suffer from oxygen deprivation. Excessive sweating deprives the body of the required amount of fluid. As a result, the blood becomes thicker, which disrupts the blood supply to the internal organs. Besides, the effectiveness of drugs is reduced due to drying out of the mucous membranes.
The child's behavior changes, the mood worsens. Children with nervous disorders or under six years of age are at risk of febrile seizures. With a sharp increase in temperature to 38-39°C, the body overheats, accompanied by the development of hyperthermia syndrome.
It is necessary to consult a specialist in the following cases:
- the mark on the thermometer exceeds 39-39.5° C;
- a child under three months of age has a fever;
- fever continues for more than four days;
- a rash appeared on the baby's body;
- stiffness of the neck muscles appears;
- the baby has nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.
You can measure baby temperature in a non-contact way using an innovative infrared thermometer. If other thermometers are used, they must be carefully placed in the baby's armpit, mouth, or rectum. Parents should consider that children’s body temperature under one year is 0.5-1 degrees higher than usual. If the thermometer shows 37.3, this does not mean that your baby is sick.
We hope that our tips will help you take your baby's temperature and take care of your child if there is a fever. What do you do when your baby has a high temperature? Which way of taking temperature is the most convenient for you?
Rachel Hudson is a therapist with seven years of experience who also has studied infant nutrition and the impact of eating habits on a child's future development. In her spare time, she is engaged in scientific publications in various medical journals.
Note: Guest blog posts are shared for informational and educational purposes and may not reflect the official policy or position of SlumberPod (parent company, Dovetail Essentials, LLC), our employees and/or contractors.