Checking your baby’s temperature isn’t something you need to do very often (hopefully) but when you do it’s good to know what you’re supposed to be looking for. We’ve all put our hand against our baby’s forehead when they’ve been fighting an infection or feeling unwell etc, so we all know when they’re feeling ill, but we cannot always gauge how serious it could be at any time unless we can take accurate measurements of things like their pulse rate and temperature.
Not everyone has the facilities to do advanced investigations and tests, but if you can take your baby’s temperature you’re already helping matters by perhaps allow a doctor or other medical professional some more information over the telephone prior to an examination; if indeed he needs some.
The normal body temperature for a baby should be around 36C, however this does sometimes vary from child to child. You will usually be able to tell if the child has a fever without a thermometer by touching them on the forehead, or back of the neck if the baby is very young, but to have a thermometer is often best in order to give an accurate reading.
What constitutes a high temperature?
A temperature of over 38C or 100.F is a sign that you need some medical assistance and you should call an ambulance or get your child to the nearest medical professional as soon as possible. A high temperature is a sign that the body is fighting an infection or other ailment, and this could be any of the following common causes:
Of course there are many other ailments and conditions that cause fever, but these are a few of the most common. It’s also important to note that babies have immunisations against various diseases, and it’s quite common that high temperatures can follow these immunisations.
What can I do to help the fever?
Remember that the temperature of your baby is not always the surest sign to identifying how ill they are. Your own instincts will usually lead you to a logical conclusion about whether or not you need a doctor, but if for any reason you are in doubt, consult a professional; it simply isn’t worth hesitating and an ambulance crew would much rather attend someone who doesn’t end up needing them.
Other temperatures that you may need to monitor
Not only is it is advisable to have a thermometer in the home to check your baby’s temperature in the event of an illness, it’s also important to test things like the temperature of your baby’s food before you serve it to them, and of course the temperature of your baby’s room (a prime suspect in the ongoing investigation against Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). It’s even possible to check all these temperatures using one thermometer these days; there are products on the market that will do everything from your baby’s body temperature to the temperature of the bath water.