As a new parent getting an accurate temperature reading for your child can be a challenge. How do you determine what method is the best and at what temperature reading should you be concerned? There is a much wider range than previously thought. The normal body temperature of 98.6F is no longer considered standard. A child’s temperature can change though out the day. Certain things can also alter temperature like if your child has just eaten or drank something warm or has been active or dressed warmly. To make sure you get an accurate reading wait thirty minutes before taking their temperature.
Here are three of the most common temperature reading methods:
Use this method if a child is older than 5 years old. Have them place the thermometer under the tongue for 3 minutes.
This method is usually used for babies and children that cannot hold a thermometer in their mouth. This method may be the best option. Rectal temperatures usually read about 0.8F higher than oral temperatures.
This method is the most unreliable method of the three but can be used if your child is unable to hold a thermometer in their mouth. An underarm reading yields a temperature of 1F lower than a child’s oral temperature and is best only used as a general indicator. To get the best reading place the thermometer under a dry armpit for 2 minutes.
Having a temperature is your own body’s natural way of fighting an infection. Any temperature over 101F is considered elevated however it is not usually necessary to treat a temperature under 102F. Nevertheless, it is always best to consult your pediatrician about what method they recommend and if your child’s temperature requires a visit to the office.
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