How many degrees is fever (and how to measure temperature)


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When the armpit temperature is higher than 38ºC, it is considered to be a fever because normal temperature ranges between 37.5º and 38ºC. This high temperature can easily be reached when it is very hot or when the individual has worn a lot of clothes.

The safest way to know if you have a fever is to measure your temperature using the thermometer. Do not rely on just placing your hand on the forehead.

This high temperature is usually reduced naturally by removing excess clothing or taking a bath with water that is lukewarm. However, in cases where the armpit temperature is higher than 39ºC, it is advisable that you seek medical attention as it may be necessary to use drugs to lower the fever.

How many degrees is adult fever

Thee normal body temperature when measured on the armpit ranges between 35.4ºC and 37.2ºC. An increase will be noted when there is an attack by influenza or infection. The main causes of variations in body temperature include:

  • Slightly increased temperature: This is known as ”subfebrile” and it is usually between 37.5ºC and 38ºC. In such cases, an individual will experience symptoms such as chills, tremors or redness of the face. In such a case, the first layer of clothing should be removed and it is ideal to also take a warm bath or drink water.
  • Fever: This is the axillary temperature which is usually above 38ºC. For an adult, the doctor may recommend that you take 1000mg tablet of paracetamol, wear only one layer of clothing or place a cold compress on the forehead. If the temperature fails to decrease after 3 hours, then it is advisable that you go for further consultation.
  • High fever: This is the axillary temperature above 39.6ºC and it is usually considered as a medical emergency and for this reason there is need for evaluation by the doctor.
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Body temperature can also be lower than normal, i.e. less than 35.4ºC. Such an increase is usually caused when the person is exposed to prolonged periods of cold, a condition known as ”hypothermia”. One should therefore remove the source of the cold from their surrounding and also wear several layers of clothing, drink hot tea or heat the house, so that the body temperature may be brought back to normalcy.

Here’s how to lower your fever quickly without using medications:

What temperature is fever in baby and children

The baby’s body temperature is slightly different from that of an adult. The normal temperature ranges between 36ºC and 37ºC. The main causes of variation sin temperature in childhood are:

Mother measuring temperature of her ill kid. Sick child with high fever laying in bed and mother holding thermometer. Hand on forehead.
  • Slightly increased temperature: between 37.1ºC and 37.5ºC. In these cases, a layer of clothing should be removed and a warm water bath should be taken.
  • Fever: This is where anal temperature is greater than 37.8ºC or axillary greater than 38ºC. In such cases, parents should call the paediatrician to guide the use of medicines for fever or recommend the need to go to the emergency room.
  • Low body temperature (hypothermia): This is where temperature below 35.5ºC. In such cases, one more layer of clothing should be put on and air currents avoided. If the temperature does not increase in 30 minutes, you should go further consultations.
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Temperature variations in the baby may not always be due to illnesses or infection. It may be because of dressing the child in excess clothing, growth of teeth, reaction to a particular vaccine or due to the environmental temperatures.

How much medicine to take to lower fever.

Removal of excess clothing and taking a warm bath is a good way to lower the body temperature. If these remedies do not work, the doctor may recommend usage of antipyretic, so as to lower fever. The most common remedy is such situations is usually paracetamol, which can be taken 3 times a day after every 6 to 8 hours.

For infants and children, the remedies of fever should only be used with the guidance of a paediatrician as the dosage may vary depending on weight and age of the child.

How to measure temperature correctly

The correct way to measure temperature is first to know how to use each type of thermometer. The most common ones are:

  • Digital thermometer: Place the metal tip in the armpit, anus or mouth in direct contact with the skin or mucous membranes and wait until the beep, to check the temperature.
  • Glass thermometer: Place the tip of the thermometer in the armpit, mouth or anus, in direct contact with the skin or mucous membranes, wait 3 to 5 minutes and then check the temperature.
  • Infrared thermometer: Point the tip of the thermometer to the forehead or into the ear canal and push the button. After the “beep” the thermometer will show the temperature immediately.
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Body temperature should be measured at rest and not after performing any physical activity or after taking a bath. This is because, in such cases, it is normal that the temperature will be higher and thus the recorded value will be false.

The most common, most practical and safest thermometer to use is the digital thermometer. This is because it can record the temperature reading when placed under the armpit and it produces a beep sound when the body temperature is reached. However, any thermometer can be used so long as it is properly used. The only type that should not be used to measure body temperature is mercury thermometer as it is toxic when it breaks.

How to measure the temperature in the baby

The baby’s body temperature should be measured using a thermometer just like in adults. The most comfortable and fast thermometers should be used such as the digital or infrared.

The idea body part to measure the baby’s temperature is the anus. In su8ch cases, one should use a digital thermometer that has a soft tip so that the baby is not hurt. However, if the parents are not comfortable using this method, the temperature should be measure form the armpit.


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