I learned something new last night. After almost five years of motherhood, I now know at what temperature a child has a fever.
Previously, I thought anything over 99 degrees Fahrenheit was a fever, no matter what kind of thermometer is used. It turns out, that’s not right. According to the Mayo Clinic, these are the actual definitions of fever:
- Rectal, ear or temporal artery temperature of 100.4 F (38 C) or higher
- Pacifier or oral temperature of 100 F (37.8C) or higher
- Armpit temperature of 99 F (37.2 C) or higher
All weekend, I thought that Nic had a low-grade fever of around 99.8 degrees (along with congestion and moderate crankiness). Because of this, I cancelled all of our weekend plans and kept us cooped up around the house. When he still had this fever after three days, I started Googling. For once, Googling random symptoms was actually productive. I found out that because I use a temporal artery thermometer, Nic didn’t actually have a fever. Although he was definitely a little under the weather, he didn’t have a persistent fever. This was a relief.
Did you know that the threshold for fever is dependent on the thermometer?