Make sure you are taking your oral temperature with the thermometer to one side underneath your tongue
, not above it; wait 15 minutes before you've come in out of the cold before you take your temperature; and wait 10 minutes after any heavy exercise. Also, wait 5 minutes after drinking hot or cold liquids.
Some general information about human body temperature:
98.6 F (37 C), is considered to be the average normal.
There is some variation -- my normal is about 98 F. Since my "normal" is "low" by the standard definition, I tolerate cold a little better; but if I have a fever at 99 F, I start feeling flushed and headachy when most people would not notice much.
Low-grade fever is described as 99.6 F (37.5 C) or higher.
High fever is described as 101 F (38.3 C) or higher. This can cause temporary brain dysfunction. Infants may have high fevers upon development of illness, without ever having a low-grade fever.
Irreversible brain damage starts occuring at 104 F (40 C). It usually takes severe brain infection or heatstroke to precipitate a fever this high.
Hypothermia (low body temperature)
Mild hypothermia is a core body temperature
less than 95 F but greater than 89.2 F (32-35 C.) Symptoms include lethargy, confusion, shivering and loss of muscle coordination.
Moderate hypothermia is a core temperature between 84.2 and 89.2 F (29-32 C.) Symptoms include delerium and slowed reflexes.
Severe hypothermia is a core temperature lower than 84.2 F (29 C.) Symptoms include cold skin and loss of consciousness.
This information is cited from the eMedicine article on hypothermia.
[Edited 2004-02-12 00:00:21]