“When a baby’s body temperature is high, check the hairline or the back of the neck for signs of a fever.”– Dr. Arshabh Ghanekar, MBBS, DCH, DNB PAEDS, Wonourie
A spike in temperature in human beings usually means that the body is fighting an infection but when it happens to babies, it is important to keep an eye on it so that it’s in a safe range. Though there are no strict rules about temperature changes in babies but if your baby is feeling unwell and behaving differently than normal, then it is best to seek medical attention.
It is important for parents to remember that just like adults babies can also get too cold or too hot. When held close to another body, they feel warm and when they are laid down on the bed they are colder requiring more clothing. When your baby’s temperature is high, check the hairline or the back of the neck to see if the baby is sweating. If you doubt that your baby has spiked his/her body temperature, take the temperature under the arm and not from the ear. Visit your nearest Apollo Cradle clinic to get the right advice on how to handle your baby’s body temperature changes.
A baby’s temperature is usually classified into four different categories. They are:
- Normal temperature: The normal body temperature for a baby is between 36 to 37 degree Celsius. Anything less than 36 and the baby needs to be warmed up.
- Low-grade temperature: If a baby’s temperature is between 37 to 37.5 degree Celsius, he or she has low grade temperature. This can be because the baby is overheated, over-wrapped or in a hot place. If this happens, remove thick clothing and just cover them in a light sheet.
- Elevated temperature: If the baby’s temperature is between 37.5 to 38 degree Celsius, then they are said to have elevated temperature. At this level, a baby is mildly unwell and bathing them with warm water should be enough to bring the temperature down.
- Fever: A baby is said to have a fever at the temperature of 38.5 degree Celsius. This may indicate that the baby is suffering from a viral infection and will need some medication. If your baby’s temperature is in this range, it is advisable to see a doctor.
A baby can be suffering from a fever due to various causes like:
- Ear infection
- Urinary tract infection
- Sore throat
Babies can have a fever following immunizations but that will go away after a short period of time. Do visit a doctor if the temperature spike continues for long periods of time.