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Fever strips and pacifier thermometers do not give an accurate temperature.
Do not use a mercury thermometer. Mercury is toxic and the thermometer could break. Over the forehead temporal artery method Non-contact infrared thermometers NCITs measure body temperature from a specific distance by sensing the energy emitted by humans. NCITs offer a way to take your temperature without touching, unlike traditional thermometers that require physical contact.
NCITs are considered more susceptible to inaccurate measurements than other thermometers for example, oral and rectal thermometers, well-calibrated tympanic thermometers. Several factors influence the ability of NCITs to detect fever accurately, including:.
Follow the best practices and the manufacturer's instructions when using NCITs. Speak to a pharmacist if you have any questions when buying a thermometer. A pharmacist can help you select the best type of thermometer for the method you choose to use.
Whichever type of thermometer you use, make sure to clean them except ear thermometers with cool, soapy water and rinse off before and after use. From birth to age 5, the most common way to take a temperature is under the armpit.
For children older than 2, temperatures can also be taken by ear or, if the child is able to sit still long enough, by mouth. The most accurate way to take a temperature is in the bum rectal method.
See the section on the rectal method to learn how safely take a rectal temperature. The mouth method can be used for children who are older than 5 years of age. It is not recommended for children younger than 5 years of age, because it is hard for them to hold the thermometer under their tongue long enough.
The ear method is recommended for children older than 2 years old.
The rectal method can be used to check for fevers in newborns and young children. Use a rectal thermometer only if you are comfortable doing so and a health care provider has shown you how to do it safely. For more detailed instructions on how to take a temperature using the rectal method, speak to your health care provider.
After a thermometer has been used to take a rectal temperature, do not use it to take an oral temperature.
Make sure that the rectal thermometer is clearly marked so that it is not used orally. The armpit method is less accurate and is normally only used if the person is extremely drowsy or not clear mentally. Temperatures may vary throughout the day, rising as much as 1 degree in the morning and reaching a maximum during the late afternoon. Mild increases may be caused by exercising, too much clothing or bedding, taking a hot bath or being outside in hot weather.
A fever is part of the normal process of fighting an infection. Usually, it goes away after 3 days. Thermometers are not always accurate so it is important to be watching for other s that your child might be ill. A fever with other symptoms may mean a more serious illness. Babies younger than 3 months of age must be seen by a health care provider when they have a fever. During the first 3 months of life, babies are not always able to fight infections, so they need to be seen sooner than older babies and children with fevers.
For more information about fever and temperature taking, visit Caring for Kids at www. Last Updated:. June Download PDF:.
A digital thermometer is best for taking temperatures by the armpit and mouth. Several factors influence the ability of NCITs to detect fever accurately, including: Relative humidity ificant perspiration Positioning on forehead Exposure to cold or hot weather before temperature measurement Follow the best practices and the manufacturer's instructions when using NCITs.
For babies 3 to 6 months, the parents should speak with their health care provider. Is it an emergency? If you or someone in your care has chest pains, difficulty breathing, or severe bleeding, it could be a life-threatening emergency. Call or the local emergency immediately. If you are concerned about a possible poisoning or exposure to a toxic substance, call Poison Control now at Thanks to our partners and endorsers:.Where to take
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