Do you often place your hand on your child’s forehead, checking to see if it feels warm? Or notice that the temperature runs higher at certain times of the day? A fever can be indicative of a number of issues, most recently, in the diagnosis of the COVID- 19 virus. However, everything, right from a low body temperature to a high body temperature can give you an inkling about your health, and it’s important to read the signs well. In this article, we cover what your body temperature indicates about your health, as well as tips and tricks to effectively read temperature!
What is Normal Body Temperature?
On average, normal body temperature is 98.6 degrees F (or 37 degrees Celsius). But it varies from person to person by a couple of degrees lower or higher than average. Normal body temperature usually gets lower as you grow older, so babies and kids tend to have a higher body temperature than adults. Also, body temperature varies depending on the climate or time of day. Hence, to determine body temperature, take your child’s temperature at the same time for a few days (preferably twice a day) and check the average reading you get.
The thermometer you use is also an essential factor, as the right one can give you the most accurate reading without causing discomfort to the child, doing most of the work for you. The Temporal Artery Thermometer from Exergen uses breakthrough infrared technology to safely measure temperature in people of all ages, from newborns to adults. The unique process measures the balance between arterial heat and environmental temperature to give you an accurate measurement with a gentle stroke across the forehead. This thermometer is non-invasive, eliminating any discomfort that usually comes with using a rectal or in-ear thermometer, and you don’t have to worry about your little one wriggling away or refusing to sit still as it takes less than a minute for the reading. The best part, it holds a memory of up to 8 readings, so measuring daily temperature is as easy as pie!
What Does Low Body Temperature Mean?
Occasional low body temperature without any other symptoms isn’t a cause for worry. But if you notice any other symptoms such as shivering, breathing issues, chills, disorientation or the limbs having a blue tinge, it could indicate something more serious. Most of the time, cold weather causes a decrease in body temperature, and warming yourself up with hot fluids or a blanket can help normalise it. Sometimes, consistently low body temperature, especially in newborns, could mean your little one is fighting an infection, so make sure to track temperature and consult a doctor if needed.
What Does High Body Temperature Mean?
If the body temperature is above 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit (or 38 degrees Celsius), it means you’re running a fever. This is the most common symptom of an infection, as the immune system is in overdrive, trying to battle it. Some medicines like antihistamines and antibiotics or vaccinations cause a fever, which is called ‘drug fever’. Other reasons for high body temperature can be injuries, including heatstroke or burns, or body pain. COVID-19 can also cause fever in kids and adults, along with symptoms such as coughing or digestive issues. Also look out for symptoms such as sweating, headaches, loss of appetite and general weakness, all of which can help determine the cause of fever. When it comes to fever, temperature tracking is crucial, so make sure to check your little one’s temperature at least twice a day if not more, and consult a doctor at the first sign of something serious.
Children are in discomfort when unwell; rectal thermometers or in-ear thermometers are invasive, which will not only increase discomfort but also not allow for a proper reading, as they try to wriggle and pull away. Enter, the Exergen Temporal Artery Thermometer which is completely non-invasive, only requiring a gentle swipe across the forehead and takes 3-5 seconds for readings. It gives an accurate reading to the dot, by measuring arterial heat and is most preferred by parents and doctors alike. The best part- it holds a memory of up to 8 readings, making temperature tracking a breeze, along with giving temperatures in both Fahrenheit and Celsius in the digital LCD display, so you’re not stuck doing the math. It is quick and straightforward, and you can take your little one’s temperature easily while she’s playing or sleeping, without her even noticing.
Tips to Take Temperature Accurately
Yes, there’s a way to measure temperature for the most accurate result. Here are some tips to keep in mind!
1. Measure Temperature Twice a Day
It’s best to take temperature twice a day- once in the morning and once in the evening. Temperature is usually lowest in the morning and increases as the day progresses, due to which fever can sometimes be missed earlier in the day. Taking your kid’s temperature twice a day ensures that no fever is missed, and you can easily track recovery.
2. Use a Non-Invasive Thermometer
Kids usually dislike rectal or in-ear thermometers as they are invasive, as well as oral thermometers, during which the two minutes taken to record temperature seem like two hours, as they constantly move and wriggle about. The Exergen Temporal Artery Thermometer is not only more accurate than others but is also non-invasive, which makes it most preferred by parents. All it requires is a swipe across the forehead and, voila, you have the reading in 3-5 seconds. It is quick and easy to use, so taking your little one’s temperature daily doesn’t seem like such a task.
3. Avoid Taking Temperature After Consuming Anything Hot or Cold
Drinking or eating something hot or cold can affect the temperature reading, especially with oral thermometers, so wait at least 20 minutes afterwards to measure temperature. This is important when consuming something hot, as you may mistake a rise in body temperature to be a fever. In case of non-oral thermometers like temporal artery thermometers, consumption of hot or cold liquids before taking the reading isn’t a concern.
4. Know How to Use the Thermometer
Each type of thermometer requires a different method of measurement, so read the instruction packet before proceeding. In the case of temporal artery thermometers, place the sensor at the centre of the forehead and gently slide it towards the top of the ear, along the temporal artery. This should help you get the most precise reading.
5. Avoid Taking Temperature Right After Physical Activity or a Shower
Any physical activity, like exercising or running around, as well as a bath, tend to increase body temperature. Wait for at least 15-20 minutes after these activities to take temperature, so the body has had some time to cool down.
Your body temperature can say a lot about your health, letting you know when the immune system is in distress or fighting off an infection. Temperature tracking can help pick up the initial instance of fever and help get a proper diagnosis, so make sure you keep a thermometer handy and take note of when your little one’s temperature drops or spikes. After all, any problem can be solved with timely help!