Story by: Kim Huston on August 12, 2021
If you suspect your child has a fever, taking your child’s temperature at home is the best way to know if it’s something that can be managed at home or if you need to seek care as soon as possible. This guide can show you how to take temperature safely and accurately with the right method for your child’s age.
There are a variety of methods of taking temperature as well as thermometers that take them. Temperature-taking methods include:
“The right method varies by age,” said Andrew M. Donovan, M.D., pediatrician with Norton Children’s Medical Group – Middletown. “Using the preferred method gives you a more accurate reading, which is important for infants, especially those younger than 2 months where any fever is considered a medical emergency.”
It can be stressful thinking about taking a rectal temperature, but follow these steps for it to be a relatively easy and safe process.
Taking an oral temperature in older children is a fairly easy process:
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Taking a child’s temperature from the armpit is an easy and convenient way to get a temperature reading. However, this method doesn’t provide as accurate a reading as the rectal or oral methods. This method can be easier for children who have difficulty holding the thermometer in their mouth. The process includes:
Using a thermometer to take temperature in the ear requires a tympanic (ear) thermometer. You can use that type of thermometer to take temperature via the armpit or within the ear. Make sure to read the manufacturer’s instructions on best use. To take temperature in the ear, parents can: