Different ways to take body temperature

It is perfectly okay for young children to get a fever. This is nature’s way of boosting up the body’s immune system. Every time there is a fever, our cells and other tissues get together to ward off the harmful bacteria and virus.

In most cases, fever goes away on its own provided we are taking the right medication. In some cases, however, it may last longer than desired and this may be a cause for concern. Doctors may like to consult the fever temperature chart of the patient before making an opinion about her illness. Let us understand the various ways of taking temperatures of the patient.

An important point to be noted is not to use mercury based thermometers lest they should break while taking the readings.
Rectal method: This is the most dependable method to take the temperature of your baby.
Clean the thermometer with soap and cover its tip with a thin film of petroleum jelly.
Place your baby on her stomach with her knees bent.
Now gently insert the thermometer inside her anus, about 2.5 cm, and hold it firmly.
Wait for 1 minute.
After you have heard a beep, take out the thermometer, note the reading and the time and record your findings on a piece of paper.
Wash the thermometer once again and store it away.

Mouth: This method is not recommended for children below 5 years as it is difficult for them to hold the thermometer under the tongue for more than 1 minute.
Clean the instrument with soap and rinse.
Lay your baby on her back and open her mouth.
Gently place the thermometer under her tongue and wait for 1 minute.
After you have heard a beep, take out the instrument and record the time and temperature displayed on a piece of paper.
Store the thermometer after cleaning it once again.

Armpit: This method is not an accurate way of recording temperature of new-borns and young children. The procedure of taking temperature under the armpit is generally the same as in the case of mouth. If the thermometer is not showing any temperature but the baby is feeling warm, then go in for the rectal method also.

Ear method: This method gives highly inaccurate results even when the manufacturer’s directions are followed.

Tips for taking temperature
Do not use a rectal thermometer to take oral temperature and vice versa.
Use a digital thermometer for taking oral and rectal temperatures. This kind of thermometer is made of unbreakable plastic and does not harm the human body.
Temporal artery temperature thermometers are not as accurate as the other instruments.
Space your recordings as closely as you can so that the doctor can make a more informed assessment of the patient’s illness.
Do not use fever strips as they give inaccurate readings.
Use the rectal method if your child is below 2 years.

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