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How do I know if my baby is too hot?

 In Ask an Expert, Health Tips, Pediatrics, Pulse Blog

Q: How can I tell if my baby is too hot?

A baby can become hot easily—even in the fall and winter. Using many layers of clothing or blankets, placing a baby near a heater, or over-bundling a baby when putting them in a car seat can all lead to an overheated infant.

Direct sunlight, even though a window, can cause a baby to get hotter than you might predict. The temperature inside a parked vehicle can swing wildly.

Unlike older children and adults, babies may not have a hot, red face or sweat when they are overheated. This makes it particularly important to monitor both the ambient temperature and your infant.

Touch your fingers to your baby’s neck or tummy, or use the sensitive skin on your lips or wrists, to get a sense of whether they are hotter than normal. Watch for crying and restlessness, which are signals that they are uncomfortably warm.

When in doubt, use a thermometer—it’s the most accurate way to check your baby’s temperature. The American Academy of Pediatrics considers a temperature between 97.5 degrees and 99.5 degrees normal.

When you’re at home, you can keep your baby comfortable by clothing them lightly and making sure the room is set to a sensible temperature.

Juan Rivera, pediatrician at The Vancouver Clinic

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