Thursday, November 11, 2010

Temperature in Babies

When baby is still inside the womb of the mother, his temperature is regulated by the
mother, and will be kept at a standard 37.7 degrees. When the mother is hot she will sweat, when she is cold, she will shiver to regulate her temperature. But once we have
our baby in our arms, he must try to regulate his own temperature.
Temperature is one worrying topic when we talk about Baby Care, as baby is unable to shiver or move, and in the new born only the sweat glands in the head and feet are fully developed, meaning that the new born has difficulty in maintaining a regular body temperature, and we may often notice what appears to be excessive sweating on the brow of our baby, or clammy cold hands if your baby is born in winter.

When we talk about this aspect of baby care, we must remember to stay calm, as it is not unusual for a baby to have a fever, as it is his way of fighting of even the smallest of infection. Temperature in your new born may rise alarmingly, and fever of 41 degrees is not uncommon, whereas this temperature in an adult would be considered extremely dangerous.

Baby will try to regulate his temperature by crying, or moving as much as he is capable, but this is obviously extremely limited in baby care of the new born. As baby grows, he can move when he is cold to try to raise his temperature, just as an adult would.

The most important healthcare review thing to remember is to keep your house at a comfortable temperature of around 21 degrees, and if baby has a fever, to cool him down with damp sponging, removing all clothes. When a baby maintains a fever for more than 12 hours when they are very small, a visit to the medical surgery is always the best option, where the health worker may administer a small amount of baby paracetamol, which is widely available under several brand names, always in liquid form, and with a pleasant taste. Baby paracetamol is said to be safe to administer in babies as young as one month old.

Fever always provokes panic, a normal knee jerk reaction, most especially for first time parents, but we must remember that this aspect of baby care is common, and easily dealt with, and there is no need to panic if baby has a slight fever. In adults, when we fight bodily infection, our temperature also is raised, so we must just remember that in babies, it is harder for him to regulate his temperature until he is able to shake and shiver, and until his sweat glands are fully developed, and that there is most usually no underlying problem, just a slight infection or virus, which can be checked out by your health visitor or at your local health center, where of course there are specially trained paediatricians who deal with thousands of babies every year.

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