Q: What is normal body temperature? How high should it be before I take my child to the doctor?
A: While 37 C (98 F) is a normal temperature, it can go up or down in a healthy child based on how you take the temperature and even the time of day.
If your baby is under one month old, call the doctor right away if you take her temperature rectally and it is over 38.5 C (101.3 F) rectally, even if she doesn't seem sick. If your baby is one to three months old and has a fever of 38.6 C (101.4 F), call the doctor. Keep an eye on an older child and see your family doctor if the fever rises or doesn't go down after three days, if he complains of a severe headache, is constantly vomiting or has diarrhea, skin rash, sore throat or earache that won't get better, stiff neck, seems pale or is wheezing.
For more information on this and other health topics, visit the College of Family Physicians of Canada's (CFPC's) Web site www.cfpc.ca or talk to your family doctor.
If you have questions on this or other health topics you'd like to see addressed in future articles, please e-mail healthtopics@CFPC.ca.