96.8 Fever In Toddler, Is This Normal? When to Seek Medical Help

Fever in a baby or a toddler is the most concerning health problem for any parent. Parents get worried when they feel their baby’s body feels hotter than normal. Warm body is considered as fever by many parents. However it may not be so as the body temperature measured with the help of thermometer shows normal reading.

So parents must clearly understand what a normal body temperature is and what an abnormal reading is among toddlers and babies. The brain regulates normal body temperature in a person. It sets in the exact thermostat. The average body temperature among children and adults is 98.6 degree F (Fahrenheit). However, this may vary slightly according to the activity level, time of the day, surrounding temperature etc. During sickness, certain part in the brain called hypothalamus elevates the body temperature to fight the infection. Knowledge of body temperature helps in determining whether the child is suffering from an infection and needs medical attention.

Normal temperature range in toddlers:

Body temperature is measured with the help of a thermometer. This instrument is thin and sleek.

It can be placed in rectum or in armpit or under the tongue for measurement of body temperature. The reading slightly differs in all cases. The normal average rectal temperature reading is considered to be 98.6 degree F. However, this may vary throughout the day according to the activity level and surrounding atmosphere etc. At its lower side 96.8 degree F is considered to be normal and on higher side 100.3 degree F is said to be normal range.

The average normal temperature taken orally is 97.6 degree F. The range can fluctuate from as low as 95.8 degree F to as high as 99.9 degree F. This is considered to be normal among toddlers.

Many times certain things such as taking hot bath, child crying for long period of time, toddler wearing warm clothes or playing outside in hot sun can elevate the temperature. Hence for an accurate measurement in such cases, wait for sometime before measuring the body temperature. Let the temperature come back to its normal level.

From the above, it can be concluded that body temperature from 96.8 to 100 degree F does not indicate fever in a toddler. However, other symptoms must be taken into consideration. The best way if you are concerned regarding the child’s body temperature, is to talk with the doctor.

When to seek medical help?

Here are some tips when the toddler needs medical attention for fever:

  • When the body temperature is more than 100 degree F and the child is too weak to move.
  • Eats less as a result of loss of appetite due to elevated temperature.
  • Trouble while breathing
  • Not alert as he used to be.
  • Skin rashes
  • Constantly crying can be pain in ear, abdomen, or even infection in brain.
  • Crying while passing urine. This may be because of infection in the urinary tract.
  • Chills and rigor
  • Irritable
  • Pain in throat while drinking and swallowing food.