You kiss your child's forehead and feel a hint of heat. Could it be a fever? The back of your hand or your lips clue you in to a fever, but to know for sure, you'll reach for a thermometer.
How you'll take your child's temperature depends on your child's age - by mouth (oral), in the bottom (rectal), under the arm (axillary), or in the ear (otic):
For infants under the age of 2, opt for your baby's bottom or his/her armpit.
For tots between 2 and 5 years of age, your toddler's bottom will still get the most accurate reading, followed by his/her ear or armpit.
Children older than 5 are able to hold a thermometer in their mouth, and this method gives the most accurate reading. Checking temperature in the ear or armpit would be your next-best choices.
Your choice of thermometer will also depend on your child's age and how you've chosen to take their temperature:
Digital thermometers are quick, give an accurate result, and can be used to take oral, rectal, or under-the-arm temperature measurements.
Electronic ear thermometers are simple to use and easy to keep clean, but they are not as versatile, affordable, or accurate as a digital thermometer.
Plastic temperature strips are like a disposable bandage version of a thermometer you press against your child's forehead. While not very accurate, they might be a good option for stowing in the car or in your purse if you ever need a temperature-taking tool in a pinch.
Glass mercury thermometers are no longer a favoured choice, due to potential mercury exposure. Because mercury is an environmental toxin, check with a pharmacist or your doctor to get instructions for proper disposal of old mercury thermometers.
Normal temperatures depend on which method you use:
No matter which method or thermometer you choose, it's important to take your child's temperature the right way to get the most accurate reading:
How to take a rectal temperature (for infants and children up to 5):
How to take an oral temperature (for children 5 years of age or older):
Tips: Wait for a little while to take your child's temperature after he/she has had anything to eat or drink. Check for gum or candy in your child's mouth.
How to take your child's temperature under his/her arm (for children of all ages):
How to take your child's temperature in his/her ear (for children 2 years of age or older):
Did you find what you were looking for on our website? Please let us know.