Identifying and treating a low body temperature in babies
In most cases, it is not necessary to go to the hospital or even call 911 for your infant’s condition. However, if your baby is having any symptoms such as:
a fever of 101°F (38°C) or higher; or
low blood pressure; or
pale skin coloration; or
breast tenderness; then you need to seek medical attention immediately.
If your baby has any of these symptoms, call 911 immediately. If your baby does not have any symptoms, but still appears pale or cold, then you may want to wait until he/she is warmer up before calling 911. You will need to keep in mind that some babies are just naturally less susceptible than others to get sick from a low body temperature.
Low body temperature in babies is a common problem. Some parents don’t realize that their baby is having any problems and they think everything is fine. Other parents think they must be doing something wrong because their baby doesn’t seem to be getting sick, so they continue to ignore the issue.
Most parents aren’t aware of all the things you can do to prevent low body temperatures in your children.
What causes low body temperature?
In the vast majority of cases, a low body temperature is not caused by anything serious. Most of the time it is just caused by external factors and circumstances. These include:
Going to a cold place (e.g. going outdoors in the winter with no jacket)
Being exposed to a draft
Not being able to eat or drink for a long period of time (e.g. infants can suffer from low body temperatures if they go too long without eating or drinking)
Drinking too much caffeine, as this can cause dehydration and lower your body temperature
Doing too much exercise when you’re already sick (e.g. babies can get sick from doing too much when they have a low body temperature)
Sometimes a low body temperature can be caused by an illness. In these cases, the illness is usually viral, and in many cases the low body temperature is a side effect of something else going on with your baby (e.g.
diarrhea, vomiting, etc.)
How do I know if my baby has a low body temperature?
The vast majority of babies who get sick with a low body temperature do not have any other symptoms. The most common symptom of a low body temperature is fussiness, which usually occurs along with the low body temperature. Other symptoms include:
Being unusually sleepy
Having a lack of interest in eating or drinking
Having an unusual lack of energy
Skin can sometimes be cool to the touch, especially around the ears and feet. In some cases, the ears, feet, or hands may actually turn blue or purple.
In most cases, it is very obvious if your baby has a low body temperature. However, in some rare cases it can be difficult to tell if your child is just a poor temperature regulator (i.e.
they’re always lukewarm) or if their body temperature has truly dropped.
If you’re ever uncertain, you can take your child’s temperature using a temporal scanner. These are very inexpensive and can be found at any drug store or medical supply store. If your child has a lower than normal temperature, you should seek immediate medical attention.
How do I treat my baby’s low body temperature?
Fortunately, most babies who suffer from a low body temperature will recover on their own within a few hours.
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