A common question among parents is how to take your child’s temperature. Having a sick child is never fun, but Dr. Jamie Kondis shows how having an accurate digital thermometer can help steer you and your child to the best course of action.
There are three types of accurate digital thermometers. The first of these three can go in the mouth, rectum, or under the arm. For young children 3 months or less, it is recommended to take their temperature rectally. Once a thermometer is used rectally, be sure to label it for future reference! In this scenario, it’s best to put a bit of petroleum jelly on the tip of the thermometer and then insert the thermometer 1/2 inch to an inch into the rectum. Children age four and older can use these thermometers orally.
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The second type of thermometer is the temporal artery scanner. These use infrared technology to scan the temporal artery. People of any age can use these, making them a great option. They are also easy to use, easy to clean, and provide quick, accurate results.
The third type of thermometer also scans an artery, but one in your ear drum. These ear thermometers are commonly used in doctor’s offices & hospitals and are nice since they can be used in children six months and up.
We do not recommend fever strips or pacifier thermometers to take your child’s temperature, as they are less accurate. If you ever have any questions about fever, you can always reach out to your pediatrician, but an accurate home digital thermometer is a great place to start and a good thing to keep in your home.