Are you able to check your ill child’s temperature?

Meningitis Week may now be finished, but parents should always be prepared to act immediatly at the first symtoms of the killer illness.

But it seems one of the key symtoms – a high temperature – is leaving parents confused, putting children at serious risk.

More than half of parents are not aware of what the normal body temperature ranges of babies and toddlers can be, finds the Meningitis Research Foundation.
Many parents that are taking temperatures are using devices that most health professionals would consider to give unreliable readings.

Most GPs would consider a digital ear thermometer to be the safest and most reliable way to take a child’s temperature.

Patron of Meningitis Resarch Foundation and TV medic, Dr Hilary Jones says: “Babies, toddlers and children become poorly all the time and sometimes it is very difficult for any concerned parent to establish just how sick their child really is.  Is it merely a mild viral illness or could they be showing the first signs of an ear or chest infection, tonsillitis or even meningitis? The symptoms of meningitis can also vary from baby to child and sometimes appear flu-like, such as vomiting and drowsiness”. 
Dr Hilary Jones advises parents to familiarise themselves with temperature ranges according to their child’s age.

The normal temperature range of babies aged six months to two years: 36.0 to 36.8
A mild temperature: 37.2

A high temperature requiring medical advice is 37.5 and above

The normal range for toddlers aged two years and children up to five years: 36.0 to 37.0

A mild temperature: 37.2

A high temperature requiring medical advice is: 37.5 to 38.0

The normal range for children over five years: 36.4 to 37.2

A high temperature requiring medical advice is: 38.0