Healthful Mondays: The temperature

© Sarah Lipoff 2010

Friday was a pretty innocent day. I did some work in the morning, my husband stayed home to play with our daughter, and we had an all around good day. That is until the evening rolled around. It always seems craziness happens after things are closed. Bedtime for our daughter was coming close and we noticed she seemed a bit sluggish. In fact, she was being down-right cuddly, which is somewhat unusual for our always-in-action babe.

We’ve been super lucky and haven’t had a trip to the hospital with out daughter, or the doctor (even after the fall down the stairs), and would like to keep it that way. She’s had her basic runny nose and stuff, but definitely nothing major. So, when I reached for the ear thermometer and it gave me a reading of 102 I just about freaked! Do I load her into the car for a trip to the emergency room? Do I fill the tub with ice?

I gave her a cold bottle of milk, put her in a onsie, cozzied her up in her crib, and did some research. It turns out that running a temperature is a pretty normal thing for wee tots, and unless there are other symptoms along with the temperature, such as vomiting, diarrhea, or has a rash somewhere on her body, she’s just fighting an infection. Dr. Sears told me to give her some baby medication and to stop freaking out.


Hiding in the back of the cupboard was some baby Tylenol that told me how much to administer on the package, which my babe sucked up, and then I sat down to try to calm down and wait at least 30 minutes before shoving the ear thermometer back into her now tender-from-being-checked-too-often ear. My husband told me to calm down, too, which got him a not-so-great look from me.

As I paced about (and my daughter snored away in her crib) I did a bit more research on this temperature thing. It turns out that a low-grade or common temperature is under 103. Parents only need to really seek out medical attention when a child’s temp soars over 103 and they have odd symptoms such as diarrhea, bumpy things on their body, or seriously lethargy – or the inability to wake up. Then it’s time to head to the emergency room! Really, it’s called go with your gut. If you feel something isn’t right, it’s time to dig out the home/cell phone number of your pediatrician or head to the closest hospital!

Within the hour my daughter’s temperature returned to normal, and even though she seemed a bit off for the rest of the weekend, her temperature totally went away after a day or so.

She’s back to her normal self opening all the kitchen cabinets and banging the pots and pans together.

Healthful Mondays: How to stay cool

© Sarah Lipoff

With the forecast saying it’s going to be another day with record high heat, I’m ready to find the coolest spot possible to hang out for the day with the babe. BUT, that’s not going to happen. We have preschool today and not only will the kiddies be toasty, but us adults, too.

The best way to beat the heat is to avoid it. For those that aren’t able to turn up the air conditioner or spend the day at the mall, there are simple ways to stay safe in extreme temperatures. Start by keeping kids indoors or in shady areas and limiting high energy activities to 15-minute bursts. This helps reduce the potential of heat stroke and some super sweaty kids. Also, make sure to slather on the sunblock if you are planning on more than 30-minutes outdoors. No one wants a sunburn on top of heat stroke.

It doesn’t matter what age you are, when the heat is high, you must stay hydrated. That means get out those colorful cups or water bottles and drink up. Water is the best, but if you’re not a huge fan – or your kiddo isn’t having it – water down some juice, herbal tea, or sports drink. For every 90-pounds an individual weighs, they should be tossing back at least 5-ounces of liquid every 20 to 30-minutes.

Along with staying hydrated and taking it easy in extreme heat, enjoy some water play. It doesn’t matter how old you are, get out the spray bottles, hose, kiddie pool – whatever you got – and soak up some water. Surrounding yourself in cool water helps keep your internal temp low, which makes the high heat tolerable (and maybe a little fun).

You can also indulge in my favorite hot-day helper – popsicles! They are easy to make yourself and are quite healthy! Hitting the kitchen and concocting some fun and super-cold popsicles is a great way to teach your child about cooking, spend some quality time together, and create a tasty treat!

No matter what you choose to do on a hot day, keep the communication rolling. Ask kids and adults around you how they’re feeling and keep tabs on their behavior. Heat stroke can happen quickly and no one wants to make a trip to the ER, which totally ruins the day.

Stay cool!