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Friday
Aug122011

Fodder Up!: Part VI - Taking a Temperature/Reducing a Fever

"I Wish My Mommy Was Here!"

This week we're going to really get our hands dirty and delve right in to a topic that makes most new dads extremely uncomfortable. So far we've overcome some pretty standard fears that come part and parcel with parenting (changing a diaper, CPR, bathing), but this one possibly takes the cake. It's something that will elicit fright in even the most confident of caregivers as it can strike at any time without warning. We're talking about a fever- and you better give it the respect it deserves. It's time to Fodder Up!

What is a fever? A Medical Explanation:

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: knowledge is power. So before you go freaking out the first time your newborn feels a little warm, let's educate you on what a fever's all about.

They say too much choice is a bad thing, and when it comes to taking a baby's temperature there are a few different "insertion" options to choose from, depending on the age of your child. So here they are. We're laying them all out on the table, but it's your choice as to which one you choose to employ. And remember, some methods are more accurate than others:

Normal Temperature 4 Children:  (source: http://www.canadianparents.com/article/all-about-fever)

The average (normal) body temperature is usually 98.6º F (37ºC), rectally. However there are ranges of normal temperatures depending on how the temperature is measured:

The normal temperature range when measured rectally is: 36.6º - 38º (C), or 97.9º - 100.4º (F)
The normal temperature range when taken by mouth is: 35.5º to 37.5º (C), or 95.9º - 99.5º (F)
The normal temperature range when taken from the armpit is: 34.7º to 37.3º (C), or 94.5º - 99.1º (F)

Hint: Write this down and keep it posted above your change table. You don't want to be searching all over for it when you need it in an emergency. 

Symptoms Chart: 

This will come in handy when your wife wants to immediately take your infant to the emergency room at the first sign of an increase in temperature - which will happen. But, it's just a guide, so when it doubt, there's no harm in following your wife's lead...it is your child's health after all.

Reducing a Fever:

My advice, call your child's pediatrician and ask what over-the-counter fever reducer(s) they suggest, and the dosage you should use for your child's weight/age (or, you could read the pamphlet that comes in the box).

When to Seek Medical Attention:

I defer to the good Doctor on this one...

 A Closer Look at the Types of Thermometers to Buy:

And there you have it- everything you need to know about using a thermometer, reducing a fever and seeking medical attention for an increase in your child's temperature. Make sure to print this off and show it to your wife the next time she's afraid to leave you alone with the baby. It will put her mind at ease... well, that and the Baby Cams she set up all over the house.

 
Disclaimer: Now, do you need a disclaimer, telling you I'm not a doctor and this post does not constitute medical advice, and when in doubt you should seek the council of a medical practitioner, preferably a pediatrician, and I'm not liable for any advice provided by third party links, as I'm merely providing a vehicle that does some of  the research you won't have time to do when your child has a 103.5 fever, your wife is out of town, and your pediatrician's office is closed? I'M NOT A DOCTOR, just a dad trying to help others dads by taking some of the leg work on for you. Again, when in doubt, call a doctor.

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