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Topics addressed in this article:

The Hot Topic of Fevers

We’ve all been there. A kiddo comes wandering over and snuggles in. “She feels warm…” you think to yourself, and head off to retrieve the thermometer. But if you are like most parents, you can take a temperature, but other than confirming that they are not the perfect 38 degrees Centigrade, you are not always sure what constitutes which grade of fever.  

Fevers can be confusing. They can come on from everything from helping to fight an illness, just after immunizations, even teething. Vaccinations and teething will usually only result in a low grade fever, but what exactly does that mean? When do you call your health care practitioner? What are you looking for? Here’s an easy guide for all of us!

What Can I Do?

Often a child will let you know how ill they are by how they act. Are they still relatively “normal” in their activities, or do they just want to crawl up on the couch? Sometimes this can be a really good indication to how they are feeling. Make sure to keep them hydrated with lots of fluids, and perhaps even try a homeopathic remedy to help their body do what it does best. Dress them in lightweight clothing, with a light blanket if needed. Ensure they get plenty of rest. If in doubt, always call your healthcare provider.

Fever Ranges

There are 3 main ways to take body temperature. Rectally is best for children and infants up to 3 months. Between 3 months and 4 years-old either rectal or under-arm measurements are the most accurate. After 4 years old, oral temperatures are reliable, as long as the child hasn’t been coughing a lot, or breathing with their mouth open for long periods of time.

The following is a quick reference chart for temperature ranges in children.

Normal Temperature

Arm: Up to 37.2 C

Rectal: Up to 37.9 C

Oral: Up to 37.5 C

Low Grade Fever

Arm: 37.3 – 38.3 C

Rectal: 38 – 39.4 C

Oral: 37.6 – 38.6 C

Common Fever

Arm: 38.4 – 39.7 C

Rectal: 39.5 – 40.4 C

Oral: 38.7 – 40 C

High Grade Fever

Arm: 39.8 C and Above

Rectal: 40.5 C and Above

Oral: 40.1 and Above

*The information in this post is for reference only and is not designed to diagnose or treat any illness.  Please contact your healthcare provider.


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