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Mother and Baby

SOS: Your Baby's High Temperature

Alone in the house with your baby and his high temperature? Don’t worry, we’re here to help

When your baby’s temperature hits 38°C it can be scary, but it doesn’t always mean that something is really wrong. So, before panicking, use this check list to try and figure out what could be wrong.

1. Have you taken your baby’s temperature correctly?

You want to make sure the result is accurate, so you don’t panic before you need to. Click here to find out how to take her temperature the right way.

2. Has your baby been unwell?

If your baby hasn’t been well, then she may still be feeling the effects. Check that you’ve been following your GP’s advice and seek medical help if it seems her condition is worsening.

3. Is she in any respiratory distress?

Check to see if your baby’s breathing patterns are regular. Put your ear close to her mouth and listen. If her breathing’s irregular with pauses and odd noises it could indicate bronchiolitis or a common cold.

4. Is she too hot?

If your baby is sweating or her tummy feels hot, she may be overheating. Remove some layers and see if it makes a difference. The aim is to keep her from overheating.

5. Is she still lively and playful?

Use your judgement and see if your baby’s as lively as she normally is. If she’s quiet and listless then call your GP for advice. 

6. Does she have a rash?

A rash with no other symptoms may just be a minor skin irritation, but a rash combined with a temperature could indicate something else – such as measles, chickenpox or possibly meningitis.

7. Is she still feeding?

A good way to tell if a baby is unwell is by seeing if she’ll still feed normally. If she doesn’t want to feed, then give it a while and try again. If that doesn’t work, chances are she’s not feeling right.

8. Is her urine and poo output normal?

Check what’s in your baby’s nappy every so often. If she’s feeding normally, your baby should have up to 10 wet nappies a day.

9. Have you tried bringing down her temperature yourself?

By following the instructions on the packets, you can give your baby infant paracetamol if she’s over two months old and infant ibuprofen at three months and older to try and reduce her temperature.

Expert information provided by Dr Tim Ubhi, consultant paediatrician for the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health.

 
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