It is important to take a body temperature of a child to know whether the child having a fever or not before you decide to bring your child to hospital or give him/her a fever medicine. You know, there’s a simple way to take a body temperature. A body temperature reading can be taken from the mouth, armpit, ear, skin surface or the rectum.
Rectal temperature reading is therefore not recommended for home use. But a rectal temperature reading is the most accurate and is quite often used in hospital, it’s not necessary to be so precise when taking temperature readings at home.
In practical terms, the temperature reading will be enough to give an indication of whether a fever is present. There are some ways to take a child’s temperature at home.
1. Ear temperature
Ear thermometer is a quick method and will give a read-out in seconds. Ear thermometer rely on measuring infrared (heat) radiation from the eardrum. Some ear thermometers are adjustable, so they can be made suitable for adults or children.
* To get a reliable temperature measurement, the thermometer must be used exactly as directed.
* When you buy the thermometer: ask the salesperson how to use it, and read the instructions carefully before you start.
* Especially with small children, ear thermometers require a steady hand to find the right spot.
* The ear canal has a natural curve – so to ensure that the thermometer is pointing towards the eardrum, it may be necessary to pull the top part of your child’s ear gently upwards during the reading.
* If your child has been lying with their head on a warm pillow, or has just come inside out of the cold, you will need to wait 10 to 15 minutes before the ear can provide an accurate measurement of body temperature.
2. Under the armpit
This method is not good for small children, since they will not stay still for long enough.
* With children old enough to co-operate and keep still you need to keep the thermometer under their armpit for at least 5 minutes.
3. From the mouth
This method is not suitable for a young child because they may bite the thermometer and break it.
* The thermometer is placed in the mouth, under the tongue.
* It will take two to three minutes to measure the temperature accurately.
* If your child has just eaten anything hot or cold, you will need to wait 10 minutes before an accurate temperature can be taken.