When a fever strikes, many parents are unsure of how to proceed. Accurate and easy-to-use children's thermometers can help you track your child's temperature and with the help of your pediatrician determine whether medical attention is needed. We can help you stock your home first aid kit with a children's thermometer at drugstore.com. Then, work with your pediatrician to determine whether that warm forehead is likely to resolve on its own or needs to be evaluated.
Taking Your Child's Temperature
When your child is irritable, warm to the touch, or both, you might suspect that a fever is to blame. Accurately taking your child's temperature is essential. The degree of your child’s fever along with how he or she behaves and appears can help determine whether you can follow a wait-and-see approach or should call your child's pediatrician. If your child is younger than 3 months of age and has a fever of 100.4 Fahrenheit or higher, call your child’s pediatrician right away even if he or she has no other symptoms. Having the right thermometer on hand is the first step in accurately assessing your child's temperature.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) explains that taking a child's temperature can be performed in a number of ways, depending on the child's age. Rectal temperatures are typically the most accurate, according to the AAP, and are encouraged for children up to 4-5 years of age.-5 years of age. Your child's temperature can also be taken orally, in the armpit, in the ear, or on the forehead. The key in assessing fever is to use the thermometer appropriately. For example, a digital pacifier thermometer goes in the mouth, while the ear thermometer, naturally, measures a child's temperature in the ear.
Types of Thermometers
While rectal thermometers can provide the most accurate temperature for some children, thermometers come in a variety of styles, allowing you to find one that most comfortably assesses your child's potential fever. Understanding the different types of thermometers can help you identify the best one for your child.
How do Rectal Thermometers Work?
Rectal thermometers feature a small probe, or tip, that is inserted into the anus. The AAP recommends adding petroleum jelly to the probe before inserting the thermometer about 1/2 to 1 inch into the anus. Short probe tips ensure that you do not insert the thermometer too far. A lighted digital display makes temperature readings simple even in the dark of night. Other features of these thermometers include memory recall, 10-second readings, and a beep when the thermometer is ready.
How to Use an Ear Thermometer
Ear thermometers read the infrared heat waves released by the eardrum to assess a child's temperature. These thermometers are ideal for fidgety children because they can record a temperature in as little as two seconds. Some ear thermometers available at drugstore.com feature a pre-warmed tip, which will maximize comfort for your child when you're taking a temperature reading. These thermometers also ensure proper positioning with a light and beep, making them user friendly. The memory function can allow you to record your child's recent temperatures, which can be handy when you're waiting for that fever to break. Disposable ear thermometers, which have probe covers that you use only once, can reduce the spread of germs from child to child.
Digital Oral Options
Oral thermometers of the past were typically placed under the child's tongue for 30 seconds to assess temperature. Although this method is still accurate and a preferred method in older children, today more advanced thermometers make temperature taking simple, especially for youngsters. Digital pacifier thermometers look like an ordinary pacifier to your baby, which means that he or she will happily suck away on it. As your baby enjoys the pacifier, you can receive a temperature reading in as little as 90 seconds. Features include a soft, silicone nipple, easy-to-read digital display, and memory recall.
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