Body temperature is a measure of how well your baby's body can make and get rid of heat. You can find out what your baby's temperature is by using a thermometer. There are specific types of thermometers to use in different parts of the body.
A rectal or ear temperature reading is about 0.25°C to 0.5°C higher than an oral (mouth) reading. A temperature taken in the armpit is about 0.25°C to 0.5°C lower than an oral temperature reading. Rectal temperatures are the most accurate way to check a temperature in children younger than 5.
Experts say that a rectal temperature in a baby over 38°C is a fever. Call your doctor or nurse call line if your baby younger than 6 months has a fever.
An armpit temperature is not as accurate as a rectal temperature.
Ear temperatures are not as accurate as rectal temperatures. Don't use ear probe thermometers on children younger than 2 years.
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Current as of: March 20, 2017
Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
& David Messenger, MD & William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
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