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Normal Temperature for Children

Body temperature is referred to as the measure of the body’s capacity to generate or reduce heat within the body. Most of the time, the body may be able to regulate this temperature and keep in within normal range. However, at times, this temperature may go down or increase depending on any infection or illness that the child may have acquired. The temperature can be measured in different parts of a child’s body such as the mouth, ear, armpit and rectum. Given below are some of the commonly asked questions about normal body temperature in children that have been answered by Experts.

What could be the cause of a 10 day old baby to have a very low body temperature of 36.1 degrees and had to be hospitalized because the temperature has not come back to normal?

There could be a number of reasons for a child’s normal body temperature to drop to as low as 36.1 degrees. This condition is called Hypothermia. The most common cause for the temperature to drop is a severe infection in the child’s body; however some babies may not develop a fever due to infection. Instead their body temperatures will drop. Another cause of hypothermia could be an endocrine problem like hypothyroidism or adrenal insufficiency. Neurological problems affecting the parts of the brain that regulate body temperature can also cause the normal body temperature to go down. In some cases, if the baby is premature or low weight, that can also cause the child’s temperature to drop.

What is considered to be the normal range of body temperature for a child?

The normal range of body temperature for a child is given below:
• 37 degrees Celsius to 37.3 degrees Celsius if taken in the child’s armpit.
• 35.8 degrees Celsius to 38 degrees Celsius if taken in the child’s ear.

Is lack of normal temperature regulation common in a 3 year old child?

Inability to regulate normal body temperature can be very rare in 3 year old children. If a child is unable to regulate normal body temperature, he/she may have to be taken to a pediatric endocrinologist for a complete evaluation. The endocrinologist will see if any further tests are required and give the course of treatment. In most cases, children may have trouble regulating their body temperature if they were born with a rare condition that interrupts the temperature regulation or if there are problems with their pituitary or hypothalamus glands in the brain.

Is it considered normal for a 20 month old child’s temperature to be 94 degrees and then raise to 97.2 degrees?

A temperature of 94 degrees may not be considered to be normal in a 20 month old child. This condition is called Hypothermia. However, a temperature of 97.2 degrees will be considered to be normal body temperature.

Should a child be seen by a doctor if their temperature was 101.1 degrees and then after receiving Tylenol 20 minutes later, the child’s temperature went up to 101.5 degrees?

Even if the child’s temperature went up to 101.5 degrees, the parents may not take him/her to the doctor immediately. Sometimes, the temperature may not come back to normal because it takes time for the fever medication like Tylenol or Ibuprofen to start working. If the child is behaving normally, drinking fine and is not lethargic, the child may just be observed at home and may not have to be seen by a doctor.

What is the normal pulse rate for a child at normal temperature?

The pulse rate for a child at normal temperature is 100/min per minute. The rate may range from 80-120 beats per minute. This can rise if the child has fever. In the case the child’s pulse rate is high at normal temperature; the child may be taken to a doctor for an evaluation.

The temperature of a child’s body can keep fluctuating throughout the day. At times, it can change because of increased or less activity. It is normally the lowest in the early morning and highest in the early evening. In some situations, if a child has been overdressed, the temperature of his/her body may be higher than normal. It is natural for parents to fuss over their child’s temperature and fear if the child has a fever. However, it is also important for parents to be aware of what is considered to be normal body temperature in children and what they may do if there is a fluctuation. You may ask an Expert if you think that your child’s temperature is more or less than normal or if you generally need more information about normal temperature for children.

Ask a Pediatrician

Dr. Yogindra Vasavada
Dr. Yogindra Vasavada, Pediatrician
Category: General
Satisfied Customers: 2711
Experience:  M.D.(ped) passed at first attempt, in practice continuously for last 37 years. Certi. in Comp
16481530
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Dr. Yogindra Vasavada
Pediatrician
Satisfied Customers: 2707
M.D.(ped) passed at first attempt, in practice continuously for last 37 years. Certi. in Comp
Dr. Gupta
Pediatrician
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MD, practicing Pediatrician with 19 years of experience. Member American Academy of Pediatrics.
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Board Certified, Ivy League educated Pediatrician.

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