Newborns are too young, so the baby’s body temperature regulation mechanism can’t work as well as adults; just a few minor effects can cause the baby to change body temperature. Parents can feel this change through touch; however, mothers need to use a thermometer to know the baby’s body temperature accurately and quickly. Below are instructions on how to take your baby’s temperature and how to effectively handle a fever.
How to measure body temperature for babies
The body temperature of a healthy child is between 36.8 and 37.3°C; usually, if the temperature is measured in the afternoon, the result may be 0.5 degrees higher than in the morning. Currently, parents can choose a mercury thermometer or an electronic thermometer to measure their child’s temperature. However, parents should be careful if using a mercury thermometer because mercury is very toxic; if children accidentally break the thermometer, children can be in danger if exposed to mercury.
The armpit temperature measurement method, which is the most popular method ever, is convenient but less accurate than the oral, ear, or rectal temperature measurement.
Here are ways to take your baby’s temperature:
Measure body temperature in the armpit
- First of all, the mother needs to dry the child’s armpit before measuring.
- The mother holds the thermometer in the child’s armpit, presses the child’s hand to the chest, then stores this position for about 4 to 5 minutes.
- Newborn body temperature is in the normal range when the measured result is between 34.7 and 37.3°C.
Measure body temperature in the mouth
Please note that oral temperature should not be taken when the child eats or drinks hot food. The way to measure is as follows:
- First of all, you need to clean the thermometer to make sure the thermometer does not create conditions for bacteria to enter the child’s mouth.
- The mother places the thermometer in the child’s mouth and instructs the child to keep the thermometer in his mouth by keeping his mouth closed so that his lips are entirely wrapped around the thermometer.
- For mercury thermometers, the measurement time is about 3 minutes. With electronic thermometers, the measurement time is less than 1 minute.
- A temperature result is considered normal when it reaches 35.5 to 37.5°C.
Measure body temperature in the ear
The measuring body temperature in the ear is applied to children six months of age and older. If the child has just been outside in the cold, the mother noted that you need to wait at least 15 minutes after measuring the child. How to measure the temperature of a newborn baby is done as follows:
- The mother uses an electronic thermometer, presses it at the position of the ear.
- A baby’s temperature in the ear is considered normal if it reaches between 35.8 and 38°C.
Anal temperature measurement
The mother first puts the baby on her stomach in the mother’s lap, then can apply lubricant to the end of the thermometer to make it easier to take the temperature (e.g., vaseline).
The mother places the thermometer gently into the child’s anus until the silver tip of the thermometer is not visible. Then hold the thermometer for about 2 minutes if using a mercury thermometer and for about 1 minute if using an electronic thermometer.
What to do when the child has a fever?
When measuring the thermometer and recognizing that the child has a fever, parents need to do the following:
Use Ibuprofen or Paracetamol fever reducers under the direction of your doctor.
Mothers can apply warm towels to the forehead, armpits, groin area, and neck to help the child cool down better and faster. Note, the mother should not wipe the child’s body with cool water because it can increase the child’s body temperature, do not apply lemon or alcohol to the child when the child has a fever because it may adversely affect the lungs or damage lungs—injury to the child’s skin.
During this time, the mother should give the baby enough water or breast milk to avoid the mother’s body being too dehydrated.
Adjust the room temperature and let the child rest in an airy, quiet space; the room temperature should be between 26 and 28 degrees Celsius.
For older children, mothers need to add nutritious foods for children. When the child has a fever, it will be challenging for the child to eat, and the mother should cook soft, dilute foods such as porridge, soup to stimulate the child to eat more. Besides, the mother also noted to divide the meal into smaller pieces to make it easier for the baby to eat.
Should supplement vitamins from fruits, in case the child has difficulty eating, the mother can squeeze water for the child to drink.
Children should wear loose clothes when they have a fever, especially not let them wear tight or too warm clothes to avoid raising their body temperature.
If the child has a high fever and is accompanied by many unusual symptoms such as convulsions, shortness of breath, lethargy, the child has a rash, dehydration, little urine, inflexibility. The child has a lot of fever again. Parents should not be subjective but need to take the child to the hospital to be examined as soon as possible. If not treated in time, children can experience many complications to the heart, neurological complications, or even life-threatening for children.
Hopefully, the instructions on how to measure the temperature of babies and treat them when they have a fever above will help parents protect their children’s health and take better care of them.