What is normal Body temperature range for children. From lowest to highest?

June 4, 2013

The temperature of the human body plays a significant role in the way the body is able to combat a certain infection. This is also one of the chief indicators of the presence of a medical problem. Essentially though, the body temperature is a measure of the body's ability to generate as well as get rid of heat. The body is also able to maintain its temperature within a specific and narrow bandwidth in-spite of the large variations of temperature present outside the body. When the body experiences very high internal temperatures, the blood vessels in the skin expand and carry any excessive heat to the surface of the skin, causing sweating which helps cool the body. When the body feels that it is too cold, the blood vessels will become narrow in order to reduce the amount o blood flow to the skin thereby conserving body heat. A person feeling substantially cold will also start to shiver - a process of involuntary, rapid contraction of the muscles in order to generate more heat.

The normal body temperatures for children are the same as an adult human and are considered to be between 36 to 36.8 degrees Celsius or 96.8 to 98.2 degrees Fahrenheit. In a child, any temperature that exceeds 36 degrees Celsius or 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit is considered to be high and is medically classed as a fever. As mentioned earlier, a fever is as much a part of the immunity system as it is a symptom of a medical condition. When the body is infected by a virus, it will try to create an environment that is hard for the virus to live in. Since most viruses are used to living and breeding in moist, warm areas, excessive heat is not a condition in which they thrive. However, when the body is not able to contain the infection on its own, the fever could drag on for days and utilize extra resources within the body in order to fight off the infection. This could leave the child very weak.

Some of the most common triggers of a fever include the flu, ear infections, tonsillitis, kidney or urinary tract infections. Common childhood medical conditions like chickenpox, measles and a whooping cough can also result in fever. High body temperatures may also be brought on by overdressing a baby or child on rather hot environments as their body are still not completely able to regulate their body temperature.

Submitted by M H on June 4, 2013 at 12:24

What is the average body temperature for children and infants?

An increase in body temperature is one of the first signs of an infection or an illness in humans. The average body temperature for infants range from 97 to 100 degrees Fahrenheit or 38 degrees Celsius, and anything above that is generally considered a fever. Children and infants with a fever need to be watched and comforted with lukewarm baths or sponge baths. Parents should be aware that babies may be feverish when they are teething or after an immunization shot. Monitoring a child with a fever is important because some children may develop difficulty in breathing as the fever rises. So long as the child is alert, breathes easily, and has good skin color, parents do not have to worry, even if the child does not eat normally. Giving the child soups and other fluids ensures that there is no dehydration.

The average body temperature for children may vary depending on the season and their level of activity too. Body temperature in children wearing heavy winter clothing all through the day may be higher than normal in the evening. The same way as lower body temperatures are recorded for children running around and sweating. Sweat is the body’s way of releasing excess heat and cooling down the skin. Even during the course of a single day, there are fluctuations in the body temperature, depending on the activities performed.

Submitted by N S on June 4, 2013 at 12:20

What causes low body temperature in children?

The causes of low body temperature in children are many. Some of the common causes include:

  • Being without protective clothes in cold weather.
  • Wearing wet clothes in windy and cold weather.
  • Excessive dehydration and exertion in cold weather.
  • Getting immersed in cold water.

Apart from these common causes, other more serious ones include:

  • Certain diseases prevent the body's ability to keep the body temperature under control.
  • Low body temperature in children could also be due to an excessive loss of blood due to injuries.
  • Low body temperature could occur due to septic shocks and as a side effect of fever medicines.
  • Hypothermia could also be due to anemia (low count of red blood cells).
  • Drop in the child's blood sugar levels.
  • In rare instances, low blood temperature in kids could be due some underlying infections. This is especially true in the case of children who are weak and have a poor immune system.

Some signs of low body temperature in children include pale skin color, cold skin, lethargy, drowsiness, slow breathing, confusion, weak pulse rate, and in some cases, collapse. If your child experiences some/all of these symptoms, it is best that you try and generate body heat as soon as possible and make him/her wear thick insulating clothing. If the condition worsens seek immediate medical attention. 

Submitted by N S on May 12, 2013 at 11:46

What is the Normal Body Temperature of a Baby?

The normal body temperature of a baby is anything between a Fahrenheit temperature of 97 degrees and 100.4 degrees. One way you can tell if your baby has a temperature is by touching or kissing his/her forehead. If the child feels hotter than usual, it's probably because he/she has a fever.

In the case of newborns, if you record a rectal temperature of 100.4 degrees F, it is important that you call your doctor. This is because even a small fever can be an indication that your child has a potentially serious infection.

If children between three months and three years have a fever that is 102 degrees F or higher, you can check with your doctor if you need to take your child to see him/her. In the case of older children, take activity levels and behavior into account to decide if he/she needs to be seen by your health care provider. Check off the following points in the case of older children with a higher-than-normal body temperature.

  • Is he/she eating and drinking properly?
  • Is he/she still active?
  • Is he/she happy and alert?
  • Is his/her skin color normal?
  • Does he/she appear well once his/her temperature is back to normal after cooling off from their strenuous activity?

Submitted by N S on May 8, 2013 at 12:39

Read more questions in Body Temperature