Causes Of Low Body Temperature In Children: How To Treat It?

All of us have our own thermostat – thermal regulating mechanism. The average body temperature is 98.6˚F, however; a child’s temperature may vary 0.6˚F above or below the average, depending upon how active he is.  To determine the body temperature, you can take oral, rectal or armpit temperature using a calibrated thermometer.  By and large, the oral temperature tends to be a little higher than normal; the armpit temperature tends to be a little lower than normal.

And a rectal reading is the most precise.

Homeostasis is the natural capacity to regulate and sustain normal temperature. In case your body temperature gets too high or too low, it means there’s some problem. A sudden drastic drop in the body temperature definitely calls for attention and you need to determine the cause.

What Causes Low Body Temperature In Babies?

  • Environmental as well as internal factors have a bearing on the child’s body temperature. Exposure to cold weather conditions for a protracted interval of time is the commonest cause for a drop in the body temperature.
  • Certain disorders can adversely influence the body’s capacity to regulate temperature, thereby triggering a low body temperature.
    Probable reasons include – excessive blood loss due to trauma, septic shocks, and a side effect of certain medications that may have been given to bring down high fever. Anemia, low blood sugar level and abnormal thyroid function are significant causes too.
  • Infrequently, low body temperature in children may be due to an underlying infection. This is true for weak children, who have a compromised immune mechanism.
  • If there is a neurological problem, the child will experience low body temperature as a recurring phenomenon. The child will have a normal temperature during the day, but it will drop at night. This may be associated with disturbed sleep and a slow heart rate.
  • What the child eats affects his body temperature. When a child is hungry, he will have a lower body temperature. Furthermore, dietary deficiencies of iron, iodine and other essential nutrients can trigger low temperature.

How To Treat Low Body Temperature In Children?

Talk to your paediatrician / health care provider, carry out tests if required and ascertain the cause of the low body temperature. A couple of home remedies and easy to follow guidelines help manage the case successfully.

  • You may need to change the child’s diet. It could be he isn’t eating nutritious, wholesome foods. Usually, once the dietary inadequacy has been remedied, the body’s temperature comes back to normal.
  • Wearing warm clothes will also help. Warm foods such as broths, soups and milk have a soothing effect on children.
  • On the other hand, if low body temperature is a chronic recurrent phenomenon, timely intervention is vital. The chief goal of your pediatrician will be to raise your child’s body temperature to normal. Once the precise cause has been established the treatment regimen will be started.
  • The child will be prescribed appropriate medication to manage anemia / hypoglycemia or hypothyroidism.
  • Trauma / injury and septic shock need prompt emergency medical aid.
  • Infections and fevers need to be dealt with suitably.
  • You need to confer with a neurologist to manage neurological problems and the related symptoms successfully.