Mom Worried About Low Temperatures in Children

Patient

Q: What are the health risks of a child (age 10) having a lower than normal temperature of 95.6 for only a few hours? My son is recovering from a respiratory virus and while at school yesterday his face was flushed, outer ears were red, but his temperature according to our school nurse was 95.6. She said that could be very bad also, but wasn't able to tell how or why it was bad. When we got home his temp. was 98.5. This morning his temp. was 98.0. Do I have any reason to be concerned?

Doctor

A:   I understand your concern about possible low temperature in your child. In my opinion you should not worry about this event, the physical signs of your child like red and flushed skin just don’t match with hypothermia. I am not sure which one the nurse applied but it could have been just a bad technique used to take the temperature.
When the thermometer is placed on the armpits or ears, which is the most common and easy way to take the body temperature, usually we should add a couple of degrees to obtain the real number. Anyways if the temperature really went down to 95.6 there would be no consequences during short periods of time. I hope I cleared your doubt.

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