In infants, in the first months of life, all systems of the body continue to form, including the mechanisms of thermoregulation. Therefore, the body temperature of a newborn may have indicators that differ from those to which adults are accustomed. We propose to figure out which numbers are normal and which ones require immediate intervention.
Temperature Standards for a Child Under One Year Old
The thermoregulation system is formed by the end of the first year of a baby’s life. Until this time, the child adapts to the external environment, which is much less comfortable and unusual for the body than the mother’s womb. The body of a newborn learns to perceive various influences, reactions to heat, cold, food are formed.
In the first days after birth, indicators up to 37.5 degrees are considered normal when measured in the armpit, up to 37.3 – in the mouth and up to 37.7 with rectal measurements. It should be borne in mind that such numbers do not indicate a high temperature, provided that they feel well – if the child normally eats, sleeps, he has stools and urination.
As the baby adapts to the conditions of the external world, full-fledged thermoregulation is established, and the indicators approach the usual ones. Below are the values that you can focus on:
|Age (months)||Norm C|
It is considered normal to rise to the upper level, when the child is actively moving, cries or screams for a long time. If the indicator stays at the maximum age mark for a long time or exceeds it, it is worth excluding possible provoking factors.
Reasons for Deviation From the Norm
If an adult’s body temperature rises against the background of infections, colds or inflammatory processes, then the baby has much more reasons for deviations from the norm.
At elevated temperatures
It can be:
- Food intake. The baby’s body spends a lot of strength and energy to digest food. The baby makes an effort to get milk from the breast or formula from a bottle. A slightly increased temperature is possible during meals or within 1-2 hours after
- Overheat. The child’s body gets very hot when in a hot, stuffy room. Heat exchange is not established, so the temperature can quickly rise if the baby is wrapped too much, he is in a diaper for a long time, or the exposure to the sun is prolonged
- Vaccination. Some types of vaccinations, especially DPT, sometimes cause a significant increase – up to 38.5-39. Usually the doctor warns of possible reactions
- Teething. This is one of the most common reasons for the increase in body temperature in newborns to 38-38.2 degrees against the background of swelling and inflammation of the gums. The condition is accompanied by lethargy, moodiness, decreased appetite. In some cases, a runny nose, frequent stools join. Against the background of the weakening of the body, the risk of colds increases, and then the already elevated temperature will be a sign of illness, and not of teething. In this case, a cough, profuse runny nose, redness and sore throat appear
- Thirst and dehydration. It is important for the baby to get enough fluids, especially in heat and bottle feeding. Babies develop a water deficit much faster than adults, which is very dangerous.
In addition to environmental factors, increased body temperature also occurs with internal problems: prolonged constipation – more than 3 days on artificial feeding and more than 7 days on breastfeeding, SARS and intestinal infections, inflammation of the mucous membranes of the eyes, ears, nose. It is important to closely monitor the child’s condition and call a doctor at the slightest suspicion of a problem. Infectious and inflammatory diseases in children 1 year of age are a rather serious situation that requires careful monitoring.
At low temperatures
On the first day after birth, lower values are considered the norm – the child’s body gets used to the air environment after the water one. At the same time, the baby is born with the same temperature indicators as that of the mother, and for the next several hours the values decrease in response to the abruptly changed microclimate of the surrounding space. After 1-3 days, the numbers come to the age norm, while in premature babies this period may be somewhat delayed.
In the first year of life, the appearance on the thermometer of values below 36 degrees may be due to the following factors:
- Hypothermia. Even a slight and short-term freezing of a child can provoke a decrease in values. Therefore, prolonged air baths, a wet diaper, excessive overdoing with hardening can provoke a decrease in normal indicators;
- Taking antipyretics. After knocking down a high temperature against the background of an incompletely formed heat exchange mechanism, infants often have a reverse reaction – the degree drops too much;
- Sleep. After the newborn wakes up, the thermometer always shows lower readings;
- Use of funds for a cold in a child. Vasoconstrictor drugs sometimes reduce values.
Deviation downward from normal values in a newborn is also possible with anemia, congenital hypothyroidism, hypoglycemia.
When Can You Shoot Down and When You Can’t?
Pediatricians do not recommend giving antipyretic drugs if the thermometer mark does not exceed 38.5. Such indicators are considered a normal sign of the activation of the immune system, which fights against viruses and bacteria. It is important not to interfere with the body’s defenses, especially in the first two days of the disease, when the highest concentration of pathogenic microorganisms is observed. But you shouldn’t let things go by themselves.
However, the mark above 38.5–38.7 indicates intoxication. In newborns, any pathological processes develop quickly, which is dangerous with complications. At a high body temperature, vascular spasm and convulsions may occur, so timely measures are necessary.
Be sure to lower the temperature in a newborn baby:
- Always, without exception, with indicators of more than 39 degrees. This condition is fraught with disturbances in the heart rhythm and respiration, the occurrence of febrile seizures
- With a value of 38.2 and above, if the baby has a tendency to negative vascular reactions (birth trauma, diagnosed encephalopathy and pathologies of the nervous system, a history of seizures in the child, you or your other children)
- After vaccination. In this case, the body does not fight pathogenic microorganisms, but experiences stress when reacting to the composition of the vaccine.
The best solution is to call your local pediatrician or ambulance. Before the arrival of the doctor, you can independently give the child’s dosage of approved drugs.
Actions at Low and High Values
In some cases, to reduce the body temperature by 1–2 degrees, it is enough to create a comfortable microclimate in the room – to ventilate the room and maintain the temperature in the room up to 20–22 C °. Also, to alleviate the condition of the child, dress him in light clothes – cotton panties and a T-shirt, a bodysuit. Constantly offer a slightly warm drink – breast milk, water, if the baby is more than 6 months old – compote, herbal tea, fruit drink. Provide a relaxing pastime – eliminate active games.
With strongly increased values, give the baby antipyretic – drugs based on paracetamol (Efferalgan syrups, Panadol, Cefekon suppositories) or ibuprofen (Nurofen syrup).
When the temperature drops, it is worth doing the following. Dress your baby a little warmer and keep things dry. It is better to preheat them with an iron. Give warm drink, eliminate all drafts in the house. Try to let your child sleep, and then offer active, but not too tiring and exhausting games.
If body temperature readings remain low after crying, activity, or eating, look for other disturbing, unusual symptoms. Be sure to inform the doctor about the newborn’s discomfort.
Avoid overheating and hypothermia of the baby, following the recommendations:
- Do not wear socks and mittens, warm hats if the weather is warm at home or outdoors above 18–20 C °
- Teach your baby to hardening through water and air baths. Start with short treatments and gradually build up the load. Bathe in water at 37 ° C – do not make the water too hot
- Walk in different weather – heat, rain, snow. The body adapts faster to environmental conditions
- At elevated temperatures, in no case do alcohol and vinegar compresses, exclude contact with cold objects. Such actions are fraught with vasospasm. Make sure that the body can give off heat and sweat – do not swaddle, do not wear diapers
- Give antipyretics carefully – even a small increase in dosage can cause negative consequences – a sharp decrease in temperature values.
The most important thing is a sober mind. Children in the first 12 months of life are very vulnerable. But this does not mean that it is necessary to give medicine at the slightest symptoms and suspicions, but it is not worth it to be indifferent either. Remember that the chances of overheating and hypothermia are very high when adults go to extremes with clothing, airing, and bathing. It is optimal to put on the baby 1 layer of clothing warmer than yourself, and in the house to create a comfortable temperature environment while maintaining normal air humidity.