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How to take a baby's temperature

How to take a baby's temperature


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A fever in infants and children is considered to be any temperature above 38ºC axillary or above 38.5ºC rectally. However, low-grade fever is the elevation of the axillary temperature between 37 and 38ºC. The variation in degrees between rectal and axillary temperatures is 0.5ºC. Fever is the most frequent reason for consultation in Pediatrics, and it is a factor that causes a lot of anxiety in parents.

Usually the most common cause is an infection, but not always. They may also have a fever due to dehydration, neurological diseases, heat stroke, chronic diseases ... Teething alone causes a low-grade fever. Some vaccines can produce postvaccinal reactions with high fever.

By itself it does not imply specific risks, except for a small percentage (1-5%) of children under 5-6 years of age, in which if there is a constitutional predisposition it can produce febrile crises (it does not depend on the degree of fever), and in Young infants can increase fluid loss and lead to dehydration. High fever itself does not cause meningitis or damage the brain. Fever alters the general condition of the child, so it is preferable to evaluate it when it is without fever.

The use of glass thermometers with mercury is no longer recommended, as glass can break, and mercury is toxic.

Electronic thermometers are the most recommended today, one of their advantages is that a suitable probe can be placed for measurements in the mouth, rectum or armpit. Rectal measurement is best for infants and young children under 5 years of age. However, for children it is a bit uncomfortable and, in general, measurements are made in the armpit, with the arm pressed against the body.

Plastic strip thermometers change color to show temperature, but are the least accurate method. You should place the strip on your forehead and read it while it is there.

Electronic thermometers for use in the ear are common and easy to use, but the results are less accurate. One tip: clean the thermometer before and after use with soap and water or antiseptic.

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Video: How to check your babys rectal temperature safely - iProven ProTemp Flex DTR-1221A thermometer (November 2022).