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Poorly baby - at what temperature do I have to worry?

(21 Posts)
Millsie1 Wed 27-May-09 09:03:27

My 8 month DD is a bit under the weather. I took her temperature this morning and it was 38.1. At what temperature do I have to worry? What's the "normal" range?

QS Wed 27-May-09 09:04:44

I would take mine to the doctor if the temp exceeded 38.

timmette Wed 27-May-09 17:40:05

At 39 degrees give paracetamol and take to the doctor. This is advice from our pead.

FabulousBakerGirl Wed 27-May-09 17:40:59

I would give Calpol for that temp.

InTheZenGarden Wed 27-May-09 19:26:41

I got in touch with NHS Direct a few months old for my (then) 10 month old. It was 1am, and she had a temp of over 39, iirc. I remember googling it and looking at the NHS Direct webiste and it was all very alarmist, seek medical attention now, kind of thing.

I'd already given Calpol and Nurofen when I rang NHSD, and by the time they called me back, 40 minutes later, her temp had dropped. Not right back down, but it had dropped.
The nurse told me that there is no temp above which it is an emergency, it is more how the child is (DD was fine, responsive etc) and how long the temp is raised for - if it hadn't dropped with Calpol etc, it would have been concerning. And it if it raised for days at a time
So, bottom line, follow symptoms and response to drugs rather than temp alone.


shhhh Wed 27-May-09 21:54:59

I would give nurofen. IME calpol isn't always so great with reducing temp BUT nurofen is...

DD (now 4)was taken several times to hospital as a baby with high temps (39-40) because its dangerous (can cause fits..) BUT always managed to bring it down..usually by combining calpol/nurofen.

dd has got chicken pocks atm and over the wkd saw temps upto 39...took me 2 hours to bring it down with nurofen and calpol.

Best to seek advice if unable to reduce it rapidly and you are worried....

How is she..?

poorbuthappy Wed 27-May-09 22:00:38

For me (well for eldest dd) it was 39 and over...she couldn't be ill without a temperature (if you see what I mean), therefore could be throwing up all over the place, but no temp meant she was really ok!

I always worry when I have to give calpol / nurofen every 4 hours on the dot to get the temp down, and that's when I knew she was very very poorly - in fact had a massive row with a nurse on children's ward 1 night because she had taken her temp approx 15 mins earlier and it was ok, then I literally felt her burn up (I'd got very good at it by this point) and demanded her temp be taken again. Cue 1 large row with nurse...I was right (as always grin) and a water infection diagnosed...

sorry waffled...that was eldest dd, I'm sure the twins will be completely different!

Leanne1989 Wed 27-May-09 22:37:23

my 7 week old had temp of 38 and we called nhsd who got a doc out at 3am

they they sent us straight to a and e as he said that anthyhing over 37.6 is high for babies

and that having a temp is really one of the few ways they can tell us they are unwell.

all because she had a blocked nose and cough.
she eneded up having a lumber puncter and being in for 48hours to monitor her temp.

so i would phone and speak to an out of hours doc

Mummymooooo Fri 02-Oct-09 19:59:22

My DD (16 months) this evening reached a temp of 38.5, wasnt very alert or respondsive, i called NHSD and while waiting for them to call back i gave DD Nurofen, they called back 40 mins after, but by this stage DD was very alert, eating with us at the table and now running around like a loony! I agree with InTheZenGarden, its all based on how DD looks etc then to what the temp reads out. Thank god for Nurofen mums!

Firawla Sat 03-Oct-09 14:05:13

over 38 is high for babies, i was told if 40 take them to a&e. normal should be about 36 or 36. something

fcs2 Wed 22-Dec-10 22:21:41

Hi there, my friend has recently given birth and is worried about her newborn overheating. She wants me to buy a couple of packs of the Baby glow temperature indicating sleepsuits for her that she saw on the Apprentice that change colour if your baby overheats. Did anyone see these sleepsuits on The Apprentice and has anyone bought any and liked them? Thanks all

saltyseadog Wed 22-Dec-10 22:26:14

9mo DS recently had a temp of 39.5 (which dropped with nurofen) and I got ticked off afterwards for not having contacted the out of hours doctor/ taken him to A and E.

I think I may have been exposed to dd being in and out of hozzy so many times with uber-high temps (result of bad chest infections related to her CP) that I didn't think 39.5 was too bad blush. I know better now.

pooka Wed 22-Dec-10 22:29:42

For me, I've always taken the line that if the temperature wont come down with paracetemol/nurofen, then that's when I'd worry.

DD is prone to high temperatures generally. For her 40 degrees is not terribly terribly uncommon when she has a bad cold or flu. If I can get the temp down, then I carry on with the dosing, while noting how she is in other respects - i.e. colour, pain?, rashes and so on.

With ds1 and ds2 they are much less prone to high temps. DS2 in particular has a normal resting temp that is significantly lower than dd's day to day one. He had a temp of 40 a couple of weeks ago, along with diarrhoea. I rang ooh doctors about that one and was advised to give the max doses of calpol and nurofen, and to make sure that the temp came down. It did, but seemed to take longer than I was used to, which was why I panicked. He's 15 months now.

Anyway - what I'm saying is that I agree with the previous poster who says it's about the whole child rather than the basic temp reading that points to whether an illness needs prompt medical attention. So for example dd has obviously got some flu-y thing that's going round. Has had temp of more than 38 on and off for nearly 3 days. But is gradually becoming more off than on IYSWIM - she's recovering. But apart from being hot and having usual cold/flu symptoms she's actually OK - can be distracted, not in any particular pain, taking fluids, no rashes and so on. So haven't sought medical attention (yet).

activate Wed 22-Dec-10 22:32:36

Holy cow at this thread - I would not even give calpol at 38. At 38.5 I'd start medicating - I would be concerned over 39.7 if it isn't dropping with meds within 20 - 30 minutes

2 of my children had febrile fits up until the ages of 4 and 5 respectively,the other two didn't - 39 would not bother me - but approaching 40 (within .2 degrees) would

pooka Wed 22-Dec-10 22:44:03

I only give med at 38 if temp accompanied by other symptoms i.e. sore throat, or if 38 is the low point in a cycle where temps have consistently been higher (so I can see that if I weren't to give the meds, the temp would creep up again towards 39 or 40).

brimfull Wed 22-Dec-10 22:51:02

At 8mos I think anything above 39 and child not themselves need to be seen.
Current NICE guidelines are not to give meds to lower fever alone ,but meds to be given if child has other symptoms .
According to NICE site drugs that lower fever will not stop febrile convulsions happening .

beachyhead Wed 22-Dec-10 23:02:14

It does depend on the child. My dd1 used to shoot up to 40 quite quickly and would need Calpol and then Nurofen 2 hours later. You can intersperse them. But my son would be pretty ill at about 38.7 so he couldn't really take the temperatures as well. Again, I only got worried when I couldn't control it with Calpol and Nurofen. Also if I was medicating heavily for about 12 hours I would go to the doctor or A & E, depending on the time.

oricella Wed 22-Dec-10 23:22:36

There are no hard and fast rules; as is already pointed out it is as much about other symptoms as it is about the fever. The NICE guidelines are available online and good to read (best done when DC are not ill). The traffic light on page 16 is particularly helpful - a quick version of that can be found here

Hope your DD is feeling better by now

Doobies Thu 23-Dec-10 13:50:55

What ggirl said.

SkyBluePearl Thu 23-Dec-10 14:39:17

I think it depends on how they are - if they are hot and perky/eating/wetting nappy then thats very different to being hot and having no wet nappies, not eating, having eyes rolling in the sockets, fitting and being floppy. If you can't get a temp down with calpol they will also want to see babe.

wannabeglam Thu 23-Dec-10 20:40:22

I think it says 39 deg in the NHS book, but my GP said that was too high and one should go at 38 deg.

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