If your baby is unsettled, it’s often very hard to know what the problem may be. The ability to check vital signs can be very helpful when dealing with a little one who can’t communicate. Knowing whether or not your baby has a fever (and if so, how high) can really help you narrow down possible causes of discomfort and unrest. Unfortunately, sometimes it can be very hard to take a cranky baby’s temperature. In this article we will discuss how to take your baby’s temperature quickly and easily. Read on to learn more.
There are quite a few ways and places to take a baby’s temperature. You can take an oral or rectal reading or get a good reading from forehead, side of the neck, in the ear or under the arm. It’s a good idea to have an assortment of thermometers on hand for a variety of situations.
For quick checks on-the-go be sure to get the most modern, efficient, non-invasive, portable thermometer possible. An old-fashioned, breakable glass and mercury affair that takes three minutes to measure temperature and is difficult to read will simply not do the job. An inexpensive strip that can be quickly laid across your baby’s forehead, inner arm or side of the neck is handy and portable.
For a quick check at home, modern, digital thermometers can often give you an accurate temperature reading in just a few seconds, sometimes without even being noticed! Additionally, there are those that keep a record of temperatures taken. This is very helpful in keeping track of the rise and fall of your baby’s fever.
Some electronic thermometers beep or make some other sort of sound when they are done measuring temperature. This is a handy feature because it allows you to pay attention to your baby during the temperature-taking process rather than setting a separate timer or watching the clock. It also makes the experience as short and sweet as possible for your baby.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, rectal thermometers provide the most accurate readings for children under the age of three. If your baby is quite ill, you might want to be certain of your readings by using a rectal thermometer. When this is the case, be sure to get one that is equipped with a positioning gauge. This is an indicator that helps you insert the thermometer safely and at the right level. This helps you get an accurate reading, protects your baby from potential injury and helps you perform your job quickly without any doubts or guesswork. If you are worried about performing this type of temperature reading, be sure to have your pediatrician or nurse-practitioner show you how to do it correctly.
For the best of both worlds, you can purchase a digital thermometer that can take a rectal reading. This type of thermometer comes with disposable probe covers, which should naturally be changed and disposed of properly after each use. Alternately, if you are going to dedicate the unit to only taking rectal readings, you could sterilize the wand by washing it with cool water and then wiping it down with isopropyl alcohol after use.
By keeping a variety of types of thermometers on hand and knowing how to use each type quickly, accurately and skillfully, you can take your baby’s temperature with little or no drama.