|There are many acceptable ways to take your child's temperature, including using a rectal thermometer in younger children. To take a rectal temperature, first wash and rinse the thermometer and shake it until it is reading below 96 degrees F (or consider using a digital rectal thermometer). Next, rub a small amount of lubricant on it's tip and while your baby is lying down, hold one of your hands firmly on his lower back, just above his buttocks. Now gently insert the thermometer into his anus about 1/2 to 1 inches. Wait for two minutes and then remove the thermometer and slowly roll it until you are able to see the end of the mercury column, which is your baby's temperature. For infants under three months of age, a fever is considered to be a temperature over 100.4 degrees F (call your doctor immediately!). Be sure to clean the thermometer with alcohol after each use.
In older infants, you can use an axillary (armpit) thermometer or an otic digital thermometer that can be placed in your child's ear for taking a temperature. Oral thermometers are usually not used until your child is four to five years old.
When reporting your child's temperature to your doctor, it is best to just say what number the thermometer read and how you took it, instead of trying to add or subtract a degree yourself.