First, make sure you have the right thermometer. Digital thermometers are easy to read, fast and safer. You'll know in a few seconds whether your child has a fever. Plus, these thermometers are safer than glass ones, which could shatter and expose your child to mercury. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, babies younger than three should be given rectal readings because they are the most precise.
You want to take your baby's temperature at the right time. Wait 15 minutes after coming in from the cold or taking a bath.
A higher temperature is considered an actual "fever" if a baby has a temperature above 100.4 says the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Know when to call the doctor. If your baby is under 3 months old, call the doctor immediately. If he's 3-6 months call at 101. If older than 6 months call at 102. Also, call the doctor if symptoms include lack of appetite, difficulty breathing, a rash, vomiting or diarrhea. They could point to a serious illness.
A home remedy to try and lower the fever is a lukewarm bath. If your crying infant won't tolerate the tub, strategically apply a washcloth instead. Uncovering his extremities is solid advice too because that's where most heat escapes the body.
Doctors usually get the most calls in the late afternoon and early evening. Everyone has a temperature fluctuation of about one degree, depending on the time, and it peaks late in the day. So , a high temperature in the morning is more of a concern than in the evening.
For more information about babies and temperatures and other parenting tips, click here.
Jessica Hartshorn & Erika Wortham