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Let's Panic: The Book!

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How to Endure and Possibly Triumph Over the Adorable Tyrant
who Will Ruin Your Body, Destroy Your Life, Liquefy Your Brain,
and Finally Turn You
into a Worthwhile
Human Being.

Written by Alice Bradley and Eden Kennedy

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Let's Panic

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At LET'S PANIC ABOUT BABIES, Eden Kennedy and I share our hard-won wisdom and tell you exactly what to think and feel and do, whether you're about to have a baby or already did and don't know what to do with it.

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« The lost week | Main | The fever »
Friday
Apr032009

Follow-up to the previous post, that being the one about the fever.

So I thought I should provide a little more information, because I seem to have terrified the pants off of some of you. And then you mailed me your pants, just to prove how literal you were. You are a bunch of odd ducks, aren't you?

Anyway, Henry has long been prone to high fevers, and 104-105 has become more or less standard for when he's really, truly sick. Which is why I did not rush him to the ER when his fever reached that number. Also, once he gets a little ibuprofen or acetaminophen in him, his temperature lowers within minutes, so even though his fever was 106 in the middle of the night, I knew it wouldn't last.

The other reason his sickness was not more worrying is that he was chipper and well-tempered. Prone to falling asleep on tables, sure, but otherwise relatively normal. This was in stark contrast to the last time his fever reached elevated levels, when he insisted that my face was covered in sparkly stickers and then tried to remove my chin with his pointy little fingernails.

And finally, I do not think his temperature was actually 111. Our last ear thermometer was so inaccurate that we purchased a high-end swiping-across-the-forehead model that promised stunning accuracy ; so far it's been as flighty and inconsistent as the last one. The advantage to this kind is that it takes a temperature within two seconds, and I don't have to wake him. The disadvantage is that it's all over the place and scares the crap out of me. So his temperature was probably a few degrees lower than 111, but still, I think we can all agree that that's awfully high.

The ER staff instructed me to buy an oral thermometer, which I did, and it read his temperature as 97.3 when he clearly still had a high fever, so I'm at a loss. Anyone have a foolproof thermometer to recommend?

Reader Comments (80)

I'm not sure if this is even an issue, but I would ask his doctor if he is at risk for a condition called malignant hyperthermia. It occurs when people are put under any kind of anesthesia, and their temperature rises dramatically and dangerously. It wouldn't hurt to ask. I'm not sure if unusually high fevers are a risk factor for it or not.
April 20, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterErin P.
Oh, I know this post is an older one, but I just had to throw in there that I never have problems with any digital thermometer - it just depends on how you use it. I never bother with oral temps, because my kids (3,5,6,6) are too young to get it right, but if you just hold the thermometer parallel to the body and insert the tip into the highest point of the armpit, you should get a pretty accurate reading (then have them put their arm down against their side, and you won't be able to see the thermometer much, if at all - which can be aggravating because you can't watch the screen while it's taking the reading, but it works!). You can kinda tell when a thermometer's out of whack if you use this method and get a temp that seems too low (or high) for what you were expecting based on how hot they feel to the touch.I used to work in a daycare, and they always bought CHEAP thermometers, so when the teachers would take the kids' temps, they usually read ridiculously low for how hot the child felt, but when I would hold the thermometer the right way under the arm, the numbers would go up every time!
May 1, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterCraezieLady
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May 19, 2009 | Unregistered Commenteri4g0k r3ctw
Hi, you have a great site! I also recommend this site: http://www.efr3tvc3eek.com 09poc , thanks!
May 19, 2009 | Unregistered Commenteri4g0k r3ctw
Oh, this makes me feel so much better. I really thought that I was the only adult who had trouble with thermometers. The hospital gave me one when I had my daughter. It is digital.What a good idea to take a well temperature to compare with. That actually makes me feel more confident- I've been worrying about The 1st Fever...
October 13, 2009 | Unregistered Commentertessa

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