Taking temps on babies

Specialties Home Health


I have a question. I bought a skin digital thermometer. I'm sure you've seen them in various pharmacies. Exergen makes the one I have and it is supposed to be recommended by Harvard. I love it. But. . . the last mom I worked for was adamant that these things are not as good as axillary temps with the cheapo $5 thermometer they send home with the baby from the hospital. It seems that rectal temps, although the most accurate, are highly frowned upon anymore even though the literature says that it is the most accurate.

Well, a few nights ago, the baby I was caring for felt hot on his abdomen. That seems to be a common area for a baby to spike a temp. Has anyone else, besides me, noticed that? When my children were young, that is where I noticed it. So I took a head temp and it was normal. I took the thermometer and took a temp on the abdomen and it was 100.1°F. So because of the negativity toward this thermometer and having to act upon the data, I retook the temp using the cheapo one doing an axillary temp. It was 97.8°F. I just assumed that the first reading was wrong. Turns out, the baby had a cold and now I am wondering if my thermometer was correct. Anyone else experienced that? How do you take a temp?

Specializes in Family practice.

I know it's frowned upon, but a rectal temp is the most accurate. At the hospital I worked at, a rectal temp was mandatory up to one year of age. I think axillary is the next best site.

I use a tympanic thermometer.

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