How To Take Your Child's Temperature
What is more important than the temperature?
The best way to take a temperature again is with the rectal thermometer. With the rectal thermometer you put a little vaseline on the tip and you put it in about a half an inch. It takes a couple of minutes, then it beeps and then you know the temperature. In older kids you can do an underarm temperature. You don't have to add or subtract a degree because again it doesn't matter if the temperature is 101 or 103, you're going to do the same thing, which is treat the fever. We also don't care as much about the height of fever. People get concerned if their child has a 101 fever versus a 105 fever, but we're going to ask you either way to treat your child's temperature. What's more important is how the temperature responds and the duration that they've had the fever. So if their temperature goes up to 104 or 105, and you treat it and it goes back down to normal, and in those interim periods your child is acting o.k., that's the most important thing. And, if the fever is there for a couple of days and then goes away for good, that's a good thing too. But if the fever isn't responding to the proper dose of Tylenol or Motrin, or the fever is prolonged, that's when we want to look into the question of 'are there other things going on that is causing this temperature?'