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Our Baby's First Two Years
by Robert M. Selig, M.D., FAAP & Joann C. Cozza, D.O., FAAP

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How To Take Armpit Temperatures

1. Place the tip of the thermometer in your child's armpit.

2. The armpit should be dry. Evaporation of moisture from a damp armpit can have a cooling effect on the thermometer. Keep the thermometer in place by holding your child's elbow against the side of his/her chest for 4 minutes in children younger than 2, and 5-6 minutes in children over 2 years. If you remove the thermometer too soon, you may miss a fever.

3. If you are uncertain about the temperature reading, recheck it by taking a rectal temperature.

 

How To Take Ear Temperatures

An ear thermometer can be used to take your child's temperature. It is safe, accurate (comparable to rectal temperatures), fast, and can be used when your child is asleep It is more expensive than other thermometers. The ear thermometer measures the heat radiating from your child's eardrum and displays it on the thermometer's digital readout. Be sure to follow the setup and cleaning instructions included with your ear thermometer to ensure accurate temperature taking. If you are unsure of the temperature reading, please recheck it by taking a rectal temperature.

 

Since most ear canals have a slight bend which can prevent the thermometer from having a clear view of the eardrum, it is important to use the following ear canal straightening technique. It is helpful to use the same hand and ear for optimum placement. If you are right-handed, hold the thermometer in your right hand to take a right ear temperature. Left handers should hold the thermometer in the left hand and take left ear temperatures.

 

Children up to 1 year of age:

1. Using your free hand, grasp the earlobe at the top.

2. Gently, but firmly, pull the earlobe straight back.

3. Continue pulling the ear until you are finished taking the temperature.

 

Children 1 year and over up to adults:

1. Using your free hand, grasp the earlobe at the top.

2. Gently, but firmly, pull the earlobe up and back.

3. Continue pulling the ear until you are finished taking the temperature.

4.To take your own temperature, wrap your free hand around the back of your head, grasping your ear from behind.

 

How To Position The Thermometer And Take The Temperature:

Pulling the ear to straighten the canal ensures a clear look at the warmest part of the eardrum. Insert the thermometer until it fully seals the canal.

 

How to get the proper angle and snug fit:

1. Approach the ear from just behind the child and point the lens towards the opposite eye.

2. Using a slight back and forth rocking motion, gently insert the thermometer into the ear as far as possible until the ear canal is fully sealed off.

 

Taking and reading the temperature:

1. After correctly positioning thermometer, fully depress the activation button and hold 1 second.

2. Another temperature can be taken as soon as "READY" appears on the screen.

3. To help ensure accurate readings, you must change or clean the lens filter after each use.

4. Without removing the lens filter, wipe with alcohol or mild soap and dry thoroughly.

 

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