Fever In Toddlers: Temperature Rising- Which Thermometer To Use?

A Guide On Fever In Toddlers, Temperature Taking & More

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Waking up in the middle of the night and checking on your toddler, only to find out that they’re flushed- can be really worrying! Fever in toddlers, temperature rise, and weakness are usually signs of an internal infection, and fever is only its external manifestation. Usually, the fever subsides will a day or two, but in case it stays for longer or gets worse, you must consult your child’s doctor. In this article we’ll discuss fever in toddlers and how you should deal with it at home, to make your little one feel comfortable.

Fever In Toddlers

When your child has a bacterial or viral infection, he or she is likely to have a fever. Your toddler will not be harmed by a fever and the fever will subside after 72 hours or 3 days.

When a baby is younger than 6 months old, a fever should be treated by a doctor. Older children can be treated at home if they drink enough drinks and generally appear healthy. If their fever lasts more than 72 hours, they should consult a doctor.

Fever In Toddlers: Temperature Measuring

Having a thermometer at home, when you have a child, is crucial. Because the first indicator of fever or discomfort in your infant is crying or screaming. And having a thermometer handy, can at least give you assurance on what to do when your baby has a fever.

There are various types of thermometers available nowadays and you can take your child’s temperature in a variety of ways. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends the following types of thermometers for your growing baby:

Age of your baby

Type of thermometer

> 3 months

Rectal thermometer

3 months -3 years

Rectal, axillary (armpit), tympanic (ear) thermometers

4 – 5 years

Rectal, oral (mouth, axillary, tympanic thermometers

< 5 years

Oral, axillary, tympanic thermometers

Now that you know which thermometer is best for which age group, let’s look at which is the best thermometer to use.

Fever In Toddlers: Temperature Rising- Which Thermometer To Use?

Other features and criteria to consider while picking the best baby thermometer, aside from the AAP’s guidelines, are:

  • Quick and storable results
  • Design that can be used for multiple purposes, such as the forehead and ears.
  • Waterproof and washable construction (especially for rectal thermometers)
  • Multilingual audio functionality, no-touch design, and color-coded reading
  • Approval of the Food and Drug Administration

Fever In Toddlers: Temperature Taking Tips

When you observe fever in toddlers, temperature change or find them crying in the middle of the night, follow these tips while taking their temperature:

  1. Use a digital thermometer instead of a mercury thermometer. Your baby could be exposed to the hazardous substance if it breaks.
  2. Do not confuse a rectal temperature with an oral thermometer or an oral temperature with a rectal thermometer.
  3. Both rectal and oral temperatures can be taken using a digital thermometer. It’s composed of indestructible plastic, it’s simple to read, quickly measures temperature, and is washable.
  4. Fever strips should not be used since they do not provide accurate results.

Different thermometers have different usage procedures and are categorized by the AAP according to age:

Taking Toddlers Temperature From Rectum

This is the most reliable method of ensuring that a fever is not ignored. According to the AAP guidelines, the rectal thermometer should not be used above the age of 5 years.

  • Rinse with cool, soapy water after cleaning the thermometer.
  • Apply petroleum jelly to the silvertip (such as Vaseline).
  • Place your infant on his or her back, knees bent.
  • Insert the thermometer around 2.5 cm (1 inch) into the rectum and hold it in place with your fingers.
  • The beep will sound after around 1 minute.
  • Remove the thermometer and take a reading.
  • Remove the thermometer and clean it.

Taking Toddlers Temperature Under Armpit

The armpit (axillary) method is commonly used to check for fever in babies and small children, however, it is less precise than taking a rectal temperature. If your child’s axillary temperature does not reveal a fever but he or she seems warm and unwell, take a rectal temperature.

  • Use an axillary thermometer to check your little one’s temperature.
  • Rinse with cool, soapy water after cleaning the thermometer.
  • Put the thermometer’s tip in the middle of your child’s armpit.
  • Ensure that your child’s arm is snugly tucked against their body.
  • Place the thermometer in place for about 1 minute, or until the “beep” sounds.
  • Remove the thermometer and take a reading.
  • Remove the thermometer and clean it.

Taking Toddlers Temperature From Mouth

Children under the age of 5 should not utilize the oral method since it is difficult for them to keep the thermometer under their tongue for long enough.

  • Rinse with cool, soapy water after cleaning the thermometer.
  • Place the thermometer’s tip under your child’s tongue with care.
  • Leave the thermometer in place for about 1 minute, or until you hear the beep, with your child’s mouth closed.
  • Remove the thermometer and take a reading.
  • Remove the thermometer and clean it.

Taking Toddlers Temperature From Ear

Even when the manufacturer’s guidelines are followed, the ear (tympanic) technique can yield temperature readings that are too low. It is not as exact or trustworthy as taking a rectal temperature.

  • Always use a clean probe tip and carefully follow the manufacturer’s directions.
  • Pull the ear back with a little tug. This will help to straighten the ear canal and create a clear path to the eardrum from within the ear.
  • Insert the thermometer gently until the ear canal is completely shut.
  • Squeeze the button and keep it down for one second.
  • Remove the thermometer and take a reading.

What Should A Toddlers’ Temperature Be?

You’ve now noted down your toddler’s temperature. But the question is what should a toddler’s temperature be?

The table given below will help you conclude whether or not your toddler has a fever.

Thermometer

Standard temperature range (°F)

Standard temperature range (°C)

Rectum

97.9°F to 100.4°F

36.6°C to 38°C

Armpit

97.8°F to 99.5°F

36.5°C to 37.5°C

Mouth

95.9°F to 99.5°F

35.5°C to 37.5°C

Ear

96.4°F to 100.4°F

35.8°C to 38°C

Fever In Toddlers: Temperature Rising- What To Do?

  • Consult your pediatrician about giving your child an acetaminophen or ibuprofen dose. After 45 minutes or so, the fever normally subsides by a degree or two. Your pharmacist or doctor can advise you on the proper dosage for your child. Do not feed aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid) to your infant.
  • Make sure your infant isn’t overdressed, and provide fluids on a regular basis. Remove extra blankets and clothing from your baby if he or she has a fever so that heat may escape and the body temperature can be lowered. However, don’t strip your child of all of his or her garments, as this may lead them to get too chilly and shiver, which produces more body heat and causes their temperature to increase again.
  • If you’re nursing, attempt to feed your infant more frequently to avoid dehydration.
  • Attempt to keep your child’s room at a comfortable temperature. If the room is too hot or stuffy, use a fan to circulate the air.

 

Try the following strategies to soothe your baby:

  • Sponge bath or lukewarm water bath
  • More fluids
  • Remove extra garments
  • Make use of a cooling fan

Fever In Toddlers: Temperature Rising-When To Call The Doctor?

If your kid has any of the following symptoms, contact your doctor.

  • Your little one is less than 6 months old and has a fever.
  • They have a fever that has lasted more than 72 hours.
  • They are grumpy, fussy, or irritable all of the time.
  • They are overly sleepy, sluggish, or unresponsive.
  • Coughing or wheezing?
  • A fever, a rash, or any other symptoms of a disease that concern you

Fever In Toddlers Final Thoughts

Fever could be worrying, but it’s important to realize that it’s usually not a chronic condition. Keep an eye on your child and remember to treat them rather than the fever.

If they appear to be uncomfortable, do everything you can to make them feel better. If you have any concerns about your child’s temperature or behavior, don’t hesitate to contact his or her doctor.

Fever In Toddlers FAQs:

1. What should a toddler’s temperature be?

The table given below will help you conclude whether or not your toddler has a fever.
Thermometer Standard temperature range (°F) Standard temperature range (°C)
Rectum 97.9°F to 100.4°F 36.6°C to 38°C
Armpit 97.8°F to 99.5°F 36.5°C to 37.5°C
Mouth 95.9°F to 99.5°F 35.5°C to 37.5°C
Ear 96.4°F to 100.4°F 35.8°C to 38°C

2. Is taking toddlers’ temperature under armpit accurate?

The armpit (axillary) method is commonly used to check for fever in babies and small children, however, it is less precise than taking a rectal temperature. If your child's axillary temperature does not reveal a fever but he or she seems warm and unwell, take a rectal temperature.

3. What to do during fever in toddler, temperature rise?

Fever in toddlers, temperature rise, and weakness are usually signs of an internal infection, and fever is only its external manifestation. Usually, the fever subsides will a day or two, but in case it stays for longer or gets worse, you must consult your child’s doctor. Try the following strategies to soothe your baby:
  • Sponge bath or lukewarm water bath
  • More fluids
  • Remove extra garments
  • Make use of a cooling fan
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