Every mother has felt that sense of dread after taking her baby’s temperature and realizing “uh oh, there’s a fever”. Let’s talk about fevers in infants and children and what you should do.
First, make sure you have a thermometer in the house. This can be a plain digital thermometer or a fancier temporal or tympanic thermometer. A digital thermometer can be used rectally or axillary (under the arm). They are accurate and easy to use. Do not use a tympanic (ear) thermometer on a baby under 1-yr old. They have proven to be inaccurate and accuracy counts in a small baby. Temporal (scanning the forehead) thermometers have been found to be fairly accurate, easy to use, but are more expensive. Learn what your baby’s normal temperature is by checking it several times when they are well. You need to feel comfortable with taking a temperature and know what your baby’s normal range is. Normal range for an infant is 97.5 – 99.5 degrees Fahrenheit. Continue reading