Body temperature is a measure of how well your child's body can make and get rid of heat. You can find out what your child'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 reading. A temperature taken in the armpit is about 0.25°C to 0.5°C lower than an oral reading. Rectal thermometers are thought to be the most accurate way to check a child's temperature.
Experts say that a rectal temperature in a child over 38°C is a fever.
The method you use to take a child's temperature depends on the child's age:
A rectal thermometer is the most accurate way to take a temperature in a child younger than age 5.
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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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