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What could be the reason for running cold and becoming sweaty at night?

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Pediatrician, Neonatology
Practicing since : 1970
Answered : 891 Questions
Hello, my daughter is 18months and has had a week of illness - high fevers, cough, runny nose and a hive like rash which came and went within 3hours. She has visited A&E twice & Gp twice in this time; once due to high fever, once due to low temperature. A&E Drs didnt do much thry have treated with antibiotics (just over half way through) and she is today eating and playing and chatting away as her usual self. I asked about roseola and they seemed to think no, a virus was the diagnosis. I was happy she was getting better. HOWEVER when I put her to sleep tonight her temperature dropped low again.. Readings vary from 35.5 to 36.1 (latter was the highest I got and only once) my readings are averaging in the mid 35's. just now it was 35.9 she is sweaty and despite being covered up in a grobag, blanket and my duvet, feels cool. Breathing seems normal to me and she was upset when I woke her but instinct told me it was because she'd been disturbed. I'm just confused asto why she appears well in the day and runs low and sweaty at night. Clinical practitioner observed her yesterday and said she was responsive, hydrated and her temperature was normal in the DRs office so she couldn't comment on that she said. I am reading that a low temp is a bad sign but she was 35.9 when we got to A&E and they were not concerned. Registrar said it was normal after a fever. I guess despite all the assurances I am still concerned that she is running cold & sweaty at night. Any insight into what could be going on? Could there be something being missed here?
Posted Tue, 14 Jan 2014 in Child Health
Answered by Dr. Uma Rajah Ananth 2 hours later
Brief Answer: Rule out environmental causes Detailed Answer: Hi, I understand your concern! What is the ambient temp there- the room temp in your house and where she sleeps? If she is active and almost normal in the day and received antibiotics ,may be this is environmental. However it is essential to keep her in normal temp. I do agree that a low body temp can be a sign of sepsis as much as a high fever in infants May be you can take her to the doctor or ER for a review. But from what I see from your description, hopefully she is alright! Though someone ( a pediatrician) seeing her in person is in a better to position to convince you God bless Dr Uma
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: What could be the reason for running cold and becoming sweaty at night? 2 hours later
Hello, this cannot be her environment we are under a goose down duvet in a warm house. She is wearing pyjamas a gro bag and has 2blankets on top of her between the duvet. Her temperature drops low in the night with sweating. Right now it seems to have gone back to normal 36.5. In herself during the day she is ok now. My question is... Can sepsis happen very slowly in a baby which actually appears well to observe? so the only symptom would be sweating at night time with low temperature? OR is a low temperature for a toddler still taking antibiotics after a virus quite normal? to note When we went to A&E at the weekend her temperature was only 35.9... And they didn't admit us.
Answered by Dr. Uma Rajah Ananth 24 minutes later
Brief Answer: yes post viral state can be Detailed Answer: Hi No, sepsis has a more stormy course in small infants and the child is sick both day and night. In some infections like urinary infection,malaria,etc there is typically sequence of chills,low body temp followed by high fever and sweating and then normal temp.. Yes, Post viral fatigue and debility can cause this imbalance as the body needs to burn lot of calories to maintain heat. As her temp is coming up u can watch her and show her to her pediatrician in the morning. Dr Uma
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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