What should be the fever in babies? The body temperature of babies

Fever in babies and children always worries parents. Fire indicates that something unusual is happening in the body. In fact, there is no exact correlation between the severity of the disease and the degree of fever. A mild infection can cause a fever of 39 ° C, while a serious illness can cause a mild fever. Fever allows the body to fight infection. Some medical circles believe that lowering the fever immediately will reduce the fight against infection. In babies with a good general condition, fever may not be intervened immediately. However, it is beneficial to intervene in babies with heart and lung diseases as it will increase fever, heart, and respiratory rate. Normal body temperature varies from person to person. Normal body temperature is higher in babies between the ages of 18-24 months.

What should be the fever in babies?

The normal temperature in infants and children is 36.4 ° C. There may be a slight variation from child to child. High fever is defined as 38 ° C and above. If the fever lasts less than 14 days, it is considered acute, if it persists for more than 14 days, it is considered a chronic fever. There is also a fever of unknown origin.

In infants and children, fever is most often:

  • Respiratory and digestive system diseases related to viruses
  • It is caused by middle ear infection, pneumonia, and urinary tract infection.

Febrile infection in newborn babies may be due to germs from the mother. Newborn babies are vulnerable to fever and infections. Because their immune system is not yet developed. For this reason, the fever of newborn babies should always be taken seriously.

Most babies without examination findings have a viral infection. However, the hidden bacteremia in which the microbe circulates in the blood should not be overlooked.

The main chronic causes of fever are:

  • Hepatitis
  • Sinusitis
  • Lung infections
  • Tuberculosis
  • Abscesses in the abdomen
  • Digestive system infections due to bacteria and parasites
  • Bone infections such as osteomyelitis
  • Cancers
  • Heart infections such as endocarditis

Causes of fever other than infection:

  • Kawasaki disease
  • Poisoning
  • Heatstroke
  • Dehydration due to rapid dehydration: Symptoms are dry mouth, loss of tears, extreme restlessness, decreased urine.
  • Vaccine side effect

Periodic fever of uncertain cause, especially in combination with abdominal pain, suggests FMF disease. Teething does not cause a fever above 38 ° C.

What should be the fever in babies? The body temperature of babies

How many degrees should the body temperature of babies?

The body temperature of the newborn baby should be between 36.5 and 37.5 degrees if it is measured under the armpit. The temperature measured from the ear can be found 0.5-1 degrees higher than this. In general, the extremely hot and dry environment in homes with heating and heat insulation forces winter babies, while the temperature difference between the rooms may be a problem in houses with stoves. Temperature 22-23 degrees in the baby’s room is ideal. If the air is too dry due to central heating systems, keeping a wet piece of towel in the baby’s room soaked as it dries will solve the problem. In spite of this, if nasal congestion is experienced due to dryness, nasal cleaning can be done with saline drops. Baby skin is also affected by dryness. Products that do not dry the skin can be used in the bathroom, and then moisturize with a suitable lotion or baby oils.

How should a fever be measured in children?

The presence of fever without measuring the temperature with a thermometer shows some symptoms. These are symptoms such as restlessness, inability to sleep, forehead and body temperature, redness of the cheeks. However, before consulting a doctor because of fever, it is necessary to take proper temperature measurements at home. The main methods of measuring fever are as follows:

  • The most accurate method is to measure the temperature from the anus (rectal). Shows your true body temperature. Before application, the tip of the thermometer should be lightly oiled. It cannot be applied to older children as it is an uncomfortable procedure.
  • Auricular temperature measurement: Unreliable in babies under 3 months. It can give fairly accurate results in older children. The tip of the ear thermometer should be changed frequently.
  • Oral temperature measurement: The thermometer is placed under the tongue and the mouth is closed. Young children cannot adapt. Oral temperature measurement gives very accurate results.
  • Fever measurement from the forehead: It is a method of measuring fever from a distance with instruments that measure infrared radiation. It is not reliable under 3 months. It can detect the temperature of the environment in other age groups and give wrong results.
  • Measuring fever from the armpit: Since the armpit is a moist area, fever can be measured low in this method. Physicians do not prefer this method. However, this method can be used if there is no possibility to measure temperature with other methods.

Glass thermometers contain mercury. In case of fracture, it may cause mercury poisoning if it comes into contact with the baby. For this reason, it is more convenient to use a digital thermometer.


  • Fever in babies under 3 months
  • Lethargy and weakness in the baby
  • Bad general condition
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Point by point bleeding on the skin
  • Fire with crying that cannot be silenced
  • Headache in older children, meaningless movements
  • Transferring a wire transfer
  • Blistering and pulsating beats in the fontanel
  • Thirst symptoms such as loss of tears reduced urination and dry mouth

If you have these symptoms, take your child to the doctor without waiting.

Children who have a good general condition and do not show any other signs of illness should be evaluated by a doctor if the fever lasts more than 5 days.

What tests are ordered in children with fever?

If the baby is over 3 years old, the general condition is good, there are no signs of serious illness, and there is an upper respiratory tract infection or mild diarrhea, the examination may not be requested. If the fever does not decrease according to the condition of the patient, the physician can have blood, urine, and stool analysis done later.

Babies younger than 1 month are hospitalized and examined in case of fever, considering serious reasons. Blood, urine test, culture test, lung x-ray, and wastewater (lumbar puncture) tests can be performed on these babies.

In addition to blood and urine tests, urine culture is performed in babies between 1-3 months. If there is diarrhea, a stool culture may be ordered. Hospitalization depends on the general condition and diet of the baby.

Investigations are always conducted in the presence of chronic fever for more than 14 days. The most common tests are hemogram, CRP, sedimentation, cultures, stool analysis, and serological tests that show infection in the blood.

In the fever of unknown cause, complete blood count, CRP, sedimentation, blood and urine cultures, chest x-ray, liver and kidney function tests, HIV, hepatitis, and pp tests can be ordered.

How to reduce fever in babies?

The thick clothes on the child are taken off. It is ensured to be calm and comfortable because crying delays the fall of fever. To prevent dehydration, plenty of fluids are given or breastfed. A wet cloth is placed on his forehead, wrists, and groin and this cloth is changed frequently. If it is not enough, a warm shower is taken. Washing with cold water is not recommended as it causes the fire to rise rapidly. Vinegar, alcohol, and spirits should not be used to reduce fever. It is beneficial to keep the room temperature between 21-22 degrees.

If the fever does not decrease with these precautions, antipyretic drugs can be used. Antipyretic drugs do not cure the disease, they only control fever. There are two groups of commonly used antipyretics in children:

Acetaminophen: orally or as suppositories
Ibuprofen: orally

The first choice is acetaminophen. If ibuprofen is used on an empty stomach and for a long time, it irritates the stomach. These drugs are available with or without a prescription. The physician determines the dose of the drug according to the weight of the baby. If used in small amounts, it does not reduce fever, if given in large quantities, they have toxic effects on the liver.

Aspirin used to be widely used to reduce fever. However, it causes Reye’s disease when used with flu and chickenpox. For this reason, it is no longer recommended today.

What is hot remittance? Does every hot kid have a referral?

Babies older than 6 months can sometimes have a convulsion in a febrile state. It is definitely a situation that terrifies families. Parents think that their baby’s brain will be damaged after a referral. During the febrile convulsion, the eyes slide, there are spasms in the body, twitches occur at the edge of the mouth. It may take a few seconds or a few minutes. The baby may be bruised during the transfer. After the transfer has passed, the baby or child will be like jelly. Contrary to popular belief, short-term febrile convulsions do not harm the baby’s brain.

However, it should not be forgotten that meningitis disease that starts with a high fever can also cause referral. It is not known why some children have a febrile convulsion and some are fire-resistant. A hot referral can sometimes continue until the age of 6. There is no need for further research on those who do not recur very frequently. However, in the case of febrile convulsion, it is necessary to take the baby to the hospital immediately. Most doctors observe the patient in the hospital, due to the possibility of re-referral within the first 24 hours.

The page content is for informational purposes only. Items containing information about therapeutic health services are not included in the content of the page. Consult your physician for diagnosis and treatment.

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  7. Herlihy, J. M., et al. (2016). Chapter 8. Diagnosis and treatment of the febrile child. Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health: Disease Control Priorities, Third Edition (Volume 2).
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  9. Nemezio, M. A., et al. (2017). Association between fever and primary tooth eruption: A systematic review and meta-analysis.
  10. Reuter, S. et al. (2014). Respiratory distress in the newborn.
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  12. Sullivan, J. E., et al. (2011). Fever and antipyretic use in children.

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