What is the Normal Body Temperature?

Picture of Body Temperature


What is Body Temperature?

Body temperature is a measure of the body’s ability to generate and get rid of heat. The body is very good at keeping its temperature within a narrow, safe range in spite of large variations in temperatures outside the body.

When you are too hot, the blood vessels in your skin expand (dilate) to carry the excess heat to your skin’s surface. You may begin to sweat, and as the sweat evaporates, it helps cool your body. When you are too cold, your blood vessels narrow (contract) so that blood flow to your skin is reduced to conserve body heat. You may start shivering, which is an involuntary, rapid contraction of the muscles. This extra muscle activity helps generate more heat. Under normal conditions, this keeps your body temperature within a narrow, safe range.

What is the Normal Body Temperature?

The normal body temperature is between 36 and 37°C, but this can vary from person to person and from hour to hour. Temperatures between 37.5°C and 38.2°C mark a low-grade fever. A high-grade fever is present when the oral temperature is above 38.2°C.

What is a fever Temperature in Celsius?

37 degrees Celsius is the equivalent of 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit, or normal body temperature. A fever in Celsius is a temperature greater than 38 degrees, or the equivalent of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit.

What temperature is considered a Fever in a Child?

In most adults, a fever is an oral temperature above 38°C (100.4°F) or a rectal or ear temperature above 38.3°C (101°F). A child has a fever when his or her rectal temperature is 38°C (100.4°F) or higher or armpit (axillary) temperature is 37.4°C (99.3°F) or higher.

A fever may occur as a reaction to:

  • Infection. This is the most common cause of a fever. Infections may affect the whole body or one body part.
  • Medicines. These include antibiotics, narcotics, antihistamines, and many others. This is called a “drug fever.” Medicines like antibiotics raise the body temperature directly. Other medicines keep the body from resetting its temperature when other things cause the temperature to rise.
  • Severe trauma or injury. This may include heart attack, stroke, heatstroke, or burns.
  • Other medical conditions. These include arthritis, hyperthyroidism, and even some cancers, such as leukemia and lung cancer.

What is considered a Low Body Temperature?

Although normal human body temperature is usually stated as 98.6 F (37 C) orally, it actually ranges from 97.5 to 98.8 F (36.4 to 37.1 C). Some people have temperatures in the 96 F range and feel fine. Yourbody temperature is not considered dangerously low until it is below 95 F (35 C).