Seven FAQs About Fever In Children

ID-10047418Children may fall sick or may have a fever more frequently than adults. Because they are active and exposed to various environmental conditions during their play and in school. They may also get cold and other viral infections from their friends and schoolmates more frequently. As a parent, you may have various questions regarding fever in your child. Here are answers of seven FAQs (frequently asked questions) about fever in children.

What is normal body temperature for a child?

The normal body temperature for a child is slightly different from an adult. It ranges from 97.7 to 99.1 degree Fahrenheit or 36° and 36.8° C.

What causes fever in a child?

Fever is actually body’s defense mechanism against invading microorganisms, such as viruses and bacteria. By increasing the body temperature, the child’s body makes an environment not conducive of survival for viruses and bacteria. That is why parents should not unnecessarily worry about fever in a child. The temperature regulation/control mechanism in a child is not well developed, hence the body temperature of a child may rise and fall very quickly in compare to an adult.

What are the sites where body temperature can be taken for a child using a common clinical thermometer?

Using a common clinical thermometer a child’s body temperature can be taken (to check if there is fever) from oral cavity, armpit/axilla, and rectum.

Which temperature is most accurate?

Body temperature taken from rectum is the most accurate. Oral temperature is usually 0.5° C (or 2° F) less than rectal temperature and temperature taken from armpit or axilla is 0.5° C lower than oral temperature. Hence, if possible rectal temperature should be taken.

How to take rectal temperature?

It is suitable for children below three years of age. Keep your child on your knees, keeping his abdomen on your thigh. Insert the mercury end of thermometer about half an inch into the rectum (use petroleum jelly if required) and hold steady for 2 minutes and read the temperature.

How to take oral temperature?

The child should be cooperative. Place the thermometer under the tongue for two to three minutes and take reading. Make sure that child has not eaten anything hot or cold prior to taking the body temperature. The child should not bite the thermometer, which can be disastrous, as mercury is present in the thermometer, it may be swallowed by the child. In such case, take the child immediately to hospital emergency room.

What to do, if your child has temperature?

If your child has a temperature, provide him with plenty of liquid in the form of drinking water, juice or ORS (oral rehydration solution). Due high body temperature there may be excessive sweating, which need to be replaced by plenty of liquid. Along with liquid, child also need rest and adequate sleep. Allow your child to be normal and let him play and do usual tasks he does everyday.

To reduce temperature, wipe forehead, hands and feet with cold water frequently. If you still can not reduce body temperature to normal, consult a doctor, or a pediatrician.

“Image courtesy of Naypong / FreeDigitalPhotos.net”.

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