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What is a fever? A Medical Explanation:
I've said it before, and I'll say it again: knowledge is power. So before you go freaking out the first time your newborn feels a little warm, let's educate you on what a fever's all about.
Taking a Temperature:
They say too much choice is a bad thing, and when it comes to taking a baby's temperature there are a few different "insertion" options to choose from, depending on the age of your child. So here they are. We're laying them all out on the table, but it's your choice as to which one you choose to employ. And remember, some methods are more accurate than others:
- Newborn: Two Methods are Better than One (Youtube Video Link)
- Infant: The Anal Retentive Way (Youtube Video Link)
- Toddler or Older: In Your Ear (Youtube Video Link)
- Step by Step Temperature Taking: Guide (Link)
The average (normal) body temperature is usually 98.6º F (37ºC), rectally. However there are ranges of normal temperatures depending on how the temperature is measured:
The normal temperature range when measured rectally is: 36.6º - 38º (C), or 97.9º - 100.4º (F)
The normal temperature range when taken by mouth is: 35.5º to 37.5º (C), or 95.9º - 99.5º (F)
The normal temperature range when taken from the armpit is: 34.7º to 37.3º (C), or 94.5º - 99.1º (F)
Hint: Write this down and keep it posted above your change table. You don't want to be searching all over for it when you need it in an emergency.
This will come in handy when your wife wants to immediately take your infant to the emergency room at the first sign of an increase in temperature - which will happen. But, it's just a guide, so when it doubt, there's no harm in following your wife's lead...it is your child's health after all.
When to Seek Medical Attention:
I defer to the good Doctor on this one...
- CBS Early Show, September, 2009 : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZrdEvhcmWX8
- How to use a standard Digital Thermometer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bdxivLJvCBE&feature=relmfu
Disclaimer: Now, do you need a disclaimer, telling you I'm not a doctor and this post does not constitute medical advice, and when in doubt you should seek the council of a medical practitioner, preferably a pediatrician, and I'm not liable for any advice provided by third party links, as I'm merely providing a vehicle that does some of the research you won't have time to do when your child has a 103.5 fever, your wife is out of town, and your pediatrician's office is closed? I'M NOT A DOCTOR, just a dad trying to help others dads by taking some of the leg work on for you. Again, when in doubt, call a doctor.