24 answers

Low Body Temperature in a Baby?

Hi moms,
Last night my almost 1 year old son had a very low body temperature. We measured using the ear thermometer, and it came up as 94.7, and rectally 94.6, and then 10 minutes later 95 degrees. We obviously called the doctor right away, and she sent us to the ER. By the time we got to ER, his temperature was 98.7. The whole time, even with low temp he was acting fine. The doctor says she doesn't know what it could have been, and I'm very concerned not knowing the cause of the issue. His room was at 75 degrees, and he wears layers to bed, so I know he wasn't just cold. Has anyone had a similar experience? Or does anyone have any thoughts what it could have been? I just wanna make sure this doesn't happen again.
Thank you so much!

MORE INFO: As I said above, we tried 2 different thermometers, one ear, and one rectal, and we measured more than once. We also tried to measure my husband's temperature with the ear one, and he had a normal reading.

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

My husband and daughter(now 17rysold)both run low grade fevers when they do not feel well, not major sick just under the weather. It might be similliar.
A.

More Answers

Hi Z.!

I am hoping this finds that your son is doing well and his temp staying in the normal range! My daughter also becomes hypothermic. It took a long time to convince her Drs why and many tests to rule out other things before they finally believed me.... This may be a long email! Go grab a cup of coffee! lol

I am assuming that they did labs on him. If so make sure you get a copy of them for your own records. Any indications of highs or lows make sure you question your Dr about them and what it could mean. Most are probably nothing when they are off but to put your own mind at ease ask! Be careful when reading the results of labs as many times they put the general number it should be in but they are for adults and not infants or children.

One possible cause is infection. Yes, generally the temperature will raise but not all the time. Blood work would show if he is fighting an infection that you may not even be aware of.

I noticed you say you have his bedroom at 75 degrees. Was he sweating? Do you have a ceiling fan on also in there for white noise or circulation? If he was sweaty and a fan on it can cause him to lose body heat very fast. Especially in children and infants.

Another cause is Thyroid problems. If this continues have them check his T4 and TSH to see where it is and if it is in the normal range for his age.

ANother is Autonomic and Endocrine Disorders. Things like Diabetes and more. Again, if this continues they will probably want to rule these things out.

In my daughters case hers is caused from Anaphylaxis. She has a very rare disease called Mastocytosis. She will be exposed to a trigger- and hers change from day to day- and have an allergic reaction. The final stage of it being shock and her temp has gone as low as 91 degrees. Unfortunately many times I do not catch it until this point because it can happen at anytime with her and usually at night. I have an AngelCare baby monitor which detects movement including breathing.... this is how I have found out because her alarm will sound and I check and she is barely breathing (shallow but not wheezing or anything like you would expect in an allergic reaction) and her fingers were ice cold. She is allergic to NSAIDS and the first time she had a fever after the 3rd dose of Motrin I put her to bed and then she became hypothermic. It is way to long for me to explain her disease and what happens exactly to her.... and please do not think I am saying this is what your son has!!!!

What I am trying to say is it is possible he may be having an allergic reaction to something he ate especially since you probably recently started on solids! An allegic reaction can take up to 12 hours to present itself. Did you notice any other symptoms? Flushing, fever, puffy eyes or nose etc...What was his pulse rate? What were his vital signs at the hospital? What color was his skin tone... was it pale? Was he clammy? You will not always have breathing problems although that is the most commonly discussed symptom with an allergic reaction. Did he have a bout of diarrhea or vomiting or anything else that you would have just thought, oh he is sick? The GI symptoms is what tells me now when ours is about to have a reaction and then I have to wait it out!

Ok, as for what to do. Our Dr suggested a warm bath- do not get his hair wet though!!!! While he is in the bath put a couple of blankets in the dryer to heat up. When you get him out of the bath dry him off and then do skin to skin contact with you or your hubby under the warmed blankets. Push warm fluids while he is under there with you plus it will help him to want to cuddle longer if he is a wiggle worm like my daughter. We also give her her prescription daily meds for allergies.... talk to your Dr if you believe it may be allergy related about giving Benedryl when it happens to see if it helps!

Anyhow, we have 1 hour from the time we find out she is hypothermic to get her temp up to 96 degrees. If at that time it does not then we have to call an ambulance and have her brought into the ER. At the ER they do vitals and start her on a warm IV fluids, heated blankets and heat packs and this time I got them to give her Benedryl in her IV. Usually by the time she gets to the ER her temp will miraculously go almost to around 95-96! lol I swear the nurses think I am loony but thank God the Drs read all of my papers I bring in about her disease and will usually follow what I tell them to do, I think it helps that I am also an EMT though.... again her disease is rare and the ER just does not know what to do for her except to Google it and then scratch their heads! lol

I wish I had an exact answer for you as to what caused this in your son. Hopefully it is just a fluke and will not happen again. If it does just remember You are your childs best advocate! Do not give in if you are concerned, get the answers you are seeking! It took me over a year to get my daughter diagnosed and we are still looking for a Dr who knows more than just what they read in a book about it around here... the closest specialist is in Michigan for her! Ughhhhhh! I had her Drs telling me that she is not becoming hypothermic because of an allergic reaction and they just kept running tests. FINALLY this last week her pediatrician agreed with me and said that is what it was- he was not the one who thought it was other things though! Now we are looking for a new med that she is not allergic to to use at home since she is allergic to a couple of ingredients in the OTC Benedryl- go figure and if it is too close to her daily meds then I can not give it to her!

Please let us know what happens and if it happens again. I am very curious since you are the 2nd person besides my daughter who has a child who this happens to that I know of. Also for the next week or so do temp checks everytime you do a diaper change... do it under the arm so you do not traumatize him unless it is low. Get an idea of what he is at normally during different times of the day. I also bought 2 extra thermometers. If one says it is low I will check the other 2 also just to be sure. It ticks me off when the nurses tell me mine is wrong- it isnt!

Blessings to you and yours!
- T.
www.mastokids.org
www.tmsforacure.org

1 mom found this helpful

Our son sleeps in a room that is about 62 degrees with a sleeper and wrapped in a miracle blanket. His body temp is probably around 95-96 degrees. Some days he feels warm other days he feels normal and still has that temperature range. Even at his peditrician appointments he has read low but has never shown signs of being sick or cold and the peditrcian is not concerned. It very well could just be how he is. I seldmon have a body temperature above 95 degrees and there is nothing wrong with me so I suspect my son has inherited it from me.

Z.,

Although I'm not certain for the cause of your son's low body temp, I do know that babies have difficulty maintaining body temperature. My pediatrician told me that babies loose up to 60 percent of their body heat through their head. You might want to put a little night hat on him before he goes to bed.

J.

Could it just be your thermometer at home was inaccurate? Often the baby thermometers one can buy in the store just aren't as accurate as what they have in the hospital, even when used rectally. For this reason, I use 2 different thermometers at home to make sure before I call the doctor. Could it be his temp was fine the whole time? Especially since he was acting fine the whole time. Just a thought... I know it's hard not to worry about our LO's.
All the best to you.

I know other people have said this too...but I think you need to go get a good rectal thermometer. Ear temps are usually wrong and usually low, and unless you have a hospital grade thermometer, the ear ones we have at home aren't very good. I have one but only use it to help me decide whether we are really going to take someone's temp. I've had it be off my more than 5 degrees. I've taken my own temp with it 6 times ( 3x each ear) and gotten 6 wildly different readings. I just can't stress enough that with young children, rectal temps are the only way to go. The first question our pediatrician ever asks when we call w/ a child w/ a fever is "how did you take their temperature?" When you take a rectal temp you are confident that the temp is right. Good luck!

Z.
Did you check your own temp with the thermometers? Was his color changed like blueish lips and fingers? If not don't worry so much. Also maybe if it happens again be very aware of what he was doing at the time and write it down. Good Luck!!
J.

This happened to my daughter when she was about 2. She had woken up in the middle of the night and seemed a bit "off." I can't remember what made me think I should take her temp, but it was low like your child's. I called the doc in the middle of the night and she didn't sound too happy once I told her that she didn't really have any other symptoms. Anyway, we put her back to bed and she was fine. We never figured out what was going on, but it hasn't happened since. I remember that I had googled low body temp and toddlers and came up with nothing either...

Same thing happened to my son last spring. He had a really bad cold/virus. High fevers initially with runny nose and bad cough. He actually started to feel better, then I got home from work one night, and he was just moaning and crying for me. He was pouring sweat (so wet with sweat I changed his clothes),but was complaining he was freezing. I took his temp. and it was 95 degrees, took it again because I thought I must have read it wrong. It was 94 somthing. I called his doctor right away, he said that viral infections can do this, especially if you have been administiring tylenol and/or ibuprofin for days to lower a high fever. He had me wake him every half hour through the night and check his temperature. If it went any lower I was to take him to the emergency room. He also told me that a low temp. with chills can be a sign of pneumonia, which my son had had the previous fall, although only high fevers and vomiting with that bout. Anyhow, by the next morning he was almost as good as new. Hope this helps. I hope your son feels better soon :)

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