When you suspect that your baby’s body temperature is fluctuating, you should first measure it with a thermometer. In such cases, it is very important to get an accurate lesson. Conventional mercury thermometers are risky to use with babies. The digital thermometer is a good replacement for its safety & accuracy.
WHAT IS THE NORMAL TEMPERATURE IN CHILDREN?
Generally, a child can be diagnosed with a fever when his or her body temperature is as follows:
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, the normal body temperature of kids is between 97.5ºF & 99.5ºF; 100.4ºF & higher is considered a fever.
AGE GUIDELINES FOR MEASURING TEMPERATURE
The process you take the temperature depends on the age of the baby
- THREE MONTHS AND BELOW: Just a rectal temperature measurement.
- IN THREE TO SIX MONTHS: You can continue to use rectal temperature measurements and you can also use temporary arterial measurements.
- FROM SIX MONTHS TO FOUR YEARS: Measure an axillary, temporal artery, and tympanic temperature. Rectal can be used if the child is an older child.
- OVER FOUR YEARS: Oral temperature reading will suffice and will provide an accurate temperature reading. However, if the child feels uncomfortable due to cough, runny nose/shortness of breath, axillary/temporary arterial temperature may be used.
HOW TO USE DIGITAL THERMOMETER FOR BABY
How to use digital thermometer for baby- Here’s how you can measure a baby’s temperature using a digital thermometer.
1. ANAL (RECTAL) OPENING TEMPERATURE
This is the accurate mode of measuring body temperature as it shows the slightest change in temperature. It can be done safely at the house.
HOW: USE A STANDARD DIGITAL THERMOMETER & LABEL IT FOR EXCLUSIVE RECTAL USE.
- Clean the thermometer with a cotton ball dipped in alcohol then wipes it dry. Or you can wash the tip with soap & water then rinse. Apply some jelly to the tip of the thermometer because it acts as a lubricant for easy insertion, & preventing discomfort.
- Hold the baby in your partner’s lap, who should hold the baby firmly. You can place the baby on a soft surface on his back and bend his legs up to the thighs.
- Gently spread the buttocks to the cheeks so that you can see the opening of the anus properly. Gently tilt the thermometer half an inch into the anus until you can barely see the metallic tip.
- For babies over six months old, you can inject it about an inch. Do not overdo it as it can hurt the baby’s gut. Pre-mark the thermometer so you recognize how far.
- Hold the thermometer for two minutes until it beeps or you read on the LCD screen.
- Gently remove the thermometer and note the temperature. Clean it totally with alcohol before storing it.
2. AUXILIARY (ARMPIT) TEMPERATURE
The temperature can be measured by placing a standard digital thermometer on the baby’s armpit. However, reading should be avoided in children less than three months because reading is not specific.
- Open the baby’s waist at the top and hold him in the seat. Make sure the underarm is dry.
- Clean the thermometer with alcohol-dipped cotton & place it in the baby’s underarm.
- Close the front and hold the elbow close to the baby’s body.
- Leave it there for five minutes or until the thermometer shows no reading. Note the temperature & clean the thermometer with alcohol.
- If you have taken an axillary temperature with a mercury thermometer, you also need to leave it on for five minutes.
3. TEMPORARY ARTERIAL (FOREHEAD) TEMPERATURE
Use a digital infrared thermometer to check the temperature of the forehead.
- Hold your baby in the seat.
- Bring the end of the thermometer to the forehead. Read the instruction manual and follow the procedure recommended in it.
- A digital infrared thermometer gives you a reading when you hold it close to the skin & swipe from left to right on the forehead without touching it.
- In the case of a contact-based digital thermometer, gently touch the sensor within the middle of the baby’s forehead, press the scan button, & swipe to 1 side of the top-up to the hairline.
- Release the scan button and note the temperature reading displayed on the thermometer screen.
4. TYMPANIC (EAR) CANAL TEMPERATURE
Never use a standard digital thermometer for tympanic temperature because you could accidentally damage the baby’s crying. Time panic thermometers must be in the correct position for proper reading. Excess ear wax can interfere with the measurement process.
- Place the tip of the thermometer in the ear canal as instructed in the instruction manual. Hold the tip only until it is marked.
- The time taken for measurement will depend on the thermometer and can last from a few seconds to a minute.
- These thermometers are position sensitive and if you do not place them correctly you will not get a wrong reading. So, take two to three readings for accuracy.
- Do not use an ear thermometer in children under six months of age because their ear canal is too narrow for a thermometer probe.
5. ORAL TEMPERATURE
It is also a standard body temperature assessment method used for adults.
- The child should not eat or drink anything hot or cold for 30 minutes before setting the temperature.
- Put the baby in a comfortable position. Clean the thermometer with alcohol and place it between the tongue of the child and the floor of the mouth.It should be kept in place using the tongue and lips, and not the teeth.
- At the age of four, if the method is shown, the child is old enough to hold the thermometer on its own. However, do not leave the baby with it.
- Leave the thermometer on for three minutes and then record the temperature. Clean it thoroughly with alcohol and save the thermometer.