The temperature in the body is controlled by a thermostat located in the hypothalamus that regulates the body temperature in the range of 98 to100 degree Fahrenheit. However there are certain factors that may result in alteration of the thermoregulation which may either result in increase or drop in body temperature.
Though the body temperature changes during the course of the day, being low in the morning and high towards the evening, these changes are nominal and don’t result in any symptoms. Low temperature in children is referred to as hypothermia, a condition when the thermoregulation fails to maintain normal body temperature and may manifest in the form of shivering and chilliness
What Causes Low Body Temperature In Children?
There are several factors that are responsible for hypothermia in children.Any condition that may result in reduced production of heat and increase heat loss may result in hypothermia in children. Some of the common factors responsible for hypothermia in children include,
- Eating disorders and hypoglycemia is a common cause associated with low temperature in children.
- Hormonal imbalances caused due to hypoadrenalism or lower production of corticosteroids by the adrenal gland may also result in hypothermia
- Nutritional deficiencies and malnutrition including kwashiorkor is common cause of low body temperature in children
- Exposure to cold especially during cold weather or poor clothing may also result in hypothermia
- Third degree burns may also result in hypothermia
- Other conditions resulting in hypothermia include chronic medical ailment, hypothyroidism and sepsis.
Symptoms Of Low Temperature In Children
The manifested symptoms associated with low temperature in children often depend upon the severity of the condition. These symptoms include,
- Skin is cold to touch
- Shivering and tremors may be observed
- Generalized weakness, lethargy and clumsiness
- Irritability and slow reflexes are commonly observed
- Shallow breathing
- Irregular heart beats
- Confusion and delirium with hallucinations
- Some children may have attacks of seizures with constant stupor.
Low Body Temperature In Children Treatment
Here is an effective treatment plan for a child suffering from hypothermia or low temperature,
- Dressing the child warmly can help in effective management of hypothermia. Dressing the child reduces the loss of heat through radiation into the environment and helps in keeping the child warm for longer. Avoid exposure of the child to cold weather. Avoid wearing cold and wet cloths
- Sharing body heat can be effective in raising the body temperature and reduces heat escape. Lying closely to the child with the skin touching the child can help in management of moderate cases of hypothermia
- A spicy diet can help in elevating body temperature. Include herbs like turmeric, garlic, ginger and cayenne in the diet.
- Include fruits like cherries and blue berries along with vegetables like squash and bell pepper. Tomato soup with added spices can aid in increasing the body temperature and also provides a lenient supply of anti oxidants
- Ensure that the child is adequately hydrated. Omega-3 fatty acid capsules along with multi vitamin capsule can be beneficial in reducing inflammation and improving immunity.