How to take or measure the temperature of the baby and the child

The fever is considered medically as increased body temperature above what is considered normal, caused mainly by a pathophysiologic event (either an inflammation or infection). That is, it should not be confused with hyperthermia (which is the rise in temperature above normal hypothalamic value due to the failure of heat evacuation systems, such as heat stroke).

The normal temperature of the human body ranges between 35 and 37 ° C, although we must keep in mind that the fever itself is not at all harmful since it is our body’s way of fighting infections.

When taking the temperature of the child, it is possible to do it orally, rectal or axillary. In our case, if you still have mercury thermometers, we advise you to use a digital thermometer.

measure the temperature of the baby

Fever in the baby and in the child

Generally, most of the different febrile episodes in children tend to be concentrated in the stage from 12 months to 3 years of age. Precisely because of the fear that the small children are sick, many parents often feed their children in excess, which greatly favors the development of viral fevers, the result of the reaction to so many intakes.

When the baby or child has a fever, it is always best to go to the pediatrician, who will evaluate and prescribe the guidelines or medications that the mother to acquire.

Sometimes must resort to Diazepam IV or microenemas, but only rarely.

In any case, it is always recommended that the child rests to recover from the fever, following the basic advice provided by the pediatrician.

On the other hand, we must take into account that fever is not in itself a disease but a symptom that something is not going well. It is the normal and useful reaction of the organism that fights against the microorganisms that attack it.

It is therefore not necessary to concentrate all the attention on the thermometer and the efforts to lower it at any cost. On the other hand, certain viruses die above 39 degrees and instead continue to develop at 37 degrees.

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The thermometer goes up very quickly in children, but the fever is not proportional to the severity of a disease, since even a sad rhinopharyngitis or prolonged exposure to the sun, for example, raises the temperature to 40 degrees.

measure the temperature of the baby

How to take the child’s temperature correctly

If the child is older and is willing to cooperate, it is one of the ways to measure the simplest temperature:

  • Place the end of the thermometer under your tongue and ask your child to close his lips. If necessary, ask her to relax and breathe through her nose normally.
  • Wait until the digital thermometer reproduces the number of beeps indicating that the temperature has already been taken.
  • Read the number that appears on the screen and write it down, also taking into account the time of day.

How to take the child’s temperature through the axillary

Although it tends not to be as accurate as oral or rectal temperature, it is useful when the little one cannot hold the thermometer in the mouth:

  • Remove your child’s shirt or shirt and put the thermometer in the armpit.
  • Fold the baby’s arm over his chest to better hold the thermometer.
  • Wait until you hear the number of beeps on the thermometer. It points to the number that appears on the screen and the time of day.

measure the temperature of the baby

How to take the child’s temperature rectally

  • Lubricate the end of the thermometer with a lubricant (eg Vaseline).
  • Place your child face down on his lap or on a flat, firm surface, or face up with his legs bent over his chest.
  • With the other hand insert the thermometer into the anal opening, carefully. Hold it between the middle finger and the ring finger.
  • Wait until you hear the number of beeps on the thermometer. It points to the number that appears on the screen and the time of day.

Issues to keep in mind

It is necessary to monitor the fever of the youngest because of the risk of seizures. The causes of fever may be diverse:

  • A very warm child, exposed for a long time to the sun or in a very warm room.
  • The exit of the first teeth.
  • A respiratory infection or reaction to a vaccine.

Sometimes the fever is not accompanied by other symptoms and may disappear in 24 to 48 hours. If this persists, it is necessary to go to the pediatrician and, especially, in the case of the girls, since it can be due to a urine infection.

measure the temperature of the baby

While waiting for the doctor to diagnose the cause and act on it, parents can follow these recommendations:

  • Check the temperature of the room, which should be between 18 and 19 degrees.
  • Keep the child under tight clothing and uncovered.
  • Give it a bath of about ten minutes, the temperature of the water will be one or two degrees lower than that of the child, in case there is a lot of fever.
  • Place a wet towel on the front and wrists in cold, drained water.
  • It is good to drink fresh water or juices.
  • Do not force him to eat.


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