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Newborn baby has high body temperature. Should I consult a doctor?

Mar 2013
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I have newborn that's a week old and his temp has been 98.8 to 99.1 my husband and my w year old have colds should I take my newborn to the doctor?
Posted Sun, 3 Mar 2013 in Child Health
Answered by Dr. Aarti Abraham 38 minutes later
Thank you for your health query.

Firstly ensure that you correctly measure the newborn's temperature.

There are two ways to take your newborn baby’s temperature: rectally or under his armpit. The most accurate of these methods is the rectal way. The normal range for a temperature taken rectally is 36.6°C to 38°C (97.9°F to 101°F).
If measuring temperature under the armpit, the normal range is 36.7°C to 37.1°C (98.0°F to 98.8°F).

Based on this, your newborn is definitely having mild fever.

In newborn babies and young infants three months of age or under, fever is important as it may be the first and only sign of a serious infection. You should definitely consult the doctor , especially if the following signs are there in addition :
he is crying inconsolably
he is listless or limp
he is having convulsions
his fontanelle, the soft spot at the top of his head, is starting to swell
he seems as if he is in pain
he has developed purple splotches on his skin, or another type of rash
he is pale or flushed
he is having problems breathing
he is refusing to breastfeed or drink from a bottle
he appears to have trouble swallowing
he is vomiting or has diarrhea

Usually, fever is associated with common illnesses such as colds, sore throat, or ear infections, but occasionally it can be a sign of something more serious. It could also be due to reaction to recent vaccination, or from simply being overdressed and overwarmed. Since two people in your house are already having colds, it becomes all the more important to consult a doctor, and rule out an infection. Meanwhile, take precautions so that the newborn does not come in direct contact with the affected persons, as newborns have poor immunity and are easily prone to infections that adults would not pick up. Sterilize all items for the baby's use.

Do not attempt to use medication to treat a fever by yourself in case of newborns, because dosages are very precise.

In the meantime, you can continue to breastfeed or bottle feed your newborn baby as normal, if he will take it.

You can also try giving your newborn baby a sponge bath with lukewarm water. If you let the water evaporate off his skin, it will help to cool him down. Do not add alcohol to the water.

When a newborn baby develops a fever associated with infection, it can become a great cause for concern. This is because newborn babies can get sick very fast. Luckily, they also respond very quickly to treatment, if the infection is caught in time. This is why it is important to bring your newborn baby to the doctor as soon as possible.

Please take care, and feel free to ask for further clarifications.

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