The normal temperature for an infant is about 97.5 degrees Fahrenheit. Temperatures that are slightly higher or lower may also be deemed normal, depending on the environment and context that the child is in. To be considered a fever, one has to reach a temperature of at least 100.4 Fahrenheit.
How to Tell if Your Child Is Above the Normal Temperature
Your child may be above the normal temperature and is already having a fever if he or she has the following symptoms: feels warm to the touch (on the forehead, back, or stomach), is sweaty or clammy, or has flushed cheeks. If your child is feeling warm, get a thermometer to measure his or her temperature right away.
How to Measure Your Child’s Temperature
There are many different kinds of digital thermometers that you can get from pharmacies and supermarkets. These will be able to provide you with a fast and accurate temperature reading and are generally considered to be the best and safest option when taking your child’s temperature.
In order to take your child’s temperature, you must get them in a comfortable position for both you and them. Slide the end of the thermometer underneath their armpit. Hold their arm against their body in order to keep the thermometer in place.
Check the instructions to see how long the thermometer should be left in place. Some of them beep in order to signal that it is time to read your child’s temperature. Look at the display screen to see if your child has a fever.
Other Types of Thermometers
There are also other types of thermometers that you may use. With an ear thermometer, all you have to do is line it up to the inside of the ear, and you will immediately get a reading. With infants, however, you may end up getting inaccurate readings because of their small ear holes. Moreover, ear thermometers are more expensive than regular digital ones.
There are also strip-type thermometers that are held against the forehead. But these may also be less accurate than digital ones.
Never use mercury thermometers made of glass as they might break and expose your child to poisonous mercury.
Factors That Can Affect Accuracy
If you have followed the product’s instructions carefully, you can be sure to get an accurate reading. However, there are a couple of factors that may contribute to slight changes in temperature.
These may be if your child has been wrapped tightly in a blanket, is in a warm room, or has been playing or running around. Or, if you and the child are currently in a hot climate, that can affect the child’s internal body temperature and thus the reading on a thermometer.
Under these conditions, the temperature you get may be higher than what it actually is. Just make sure to cool down your child first before proceeding to take their temperature so as to not receive a false reading.
What Does Having a Higher Than Normal Temperature Mean?
If your child has a higher than average temperature, this may mean he or she has a fever. Fevers may sometimes be linked to other illnesses, such as the flu, chickenpox, or pneumonia. It is also common for infants to get a fever after getting their vaccinations or if they are fighting off an infection. In some cases, the increased temperature may be the result of dehydration, in which case it is vital to ensure your child gets dehydrated immediately. High temperatures can also be the result of overexposure to sunlight or heat, so remember to keep your child covered and in the shade as much as possible.
For mild cases, you can look after your child from home. Make sure to try and cool down their temperature, and keep them rehydrated. If your child’s temperature is very high, remains consistently abnormal, or is coupled with other symptoms, seek medical advice as soon as possible.
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