How do you use a thermometer with a baby?

Fever is one of the more frequent issues moms will encounter, and your baby can develop a fever for several different reasons. It’s important to monitor your baby’s fever closely. You can easily detect a fever by touching your baby’s forehead or nape with your lip or the back of your hand. If you think your baby has a fever, you should measure it with a thermometer.

There are two different types of thermometer, glass mercury or digital. Digital thermometers are contact or non-contact. Glass thermometers have a simpler mechanism, as the mercury reacts to the to temperature. Due to their waiting time, difficulty of use and failure rates, digital thermometers tend to be the most popular option of the two.

Digital thermometers are reliable and give accurate readings quickly (the error margin is between +/-0.1 C). Most have a memory feature, which make the fever easier to monitor, and the in-built alarm helps you take accurate readings. The automatic turn-off and break resistant properties make them even more reliable.

It is best to take readings from either rectal region, armpit, ear or mouth, as these areas reflect the body temperature most accurately. Babies tend to move around a lot, and are can’t control their muscles so ear and mouth tend to be difficult to take readings from, therefore rectal or armpit tend to be the easier the option with babies. That being said, there are tympanic and infrared, contactless auditory canal thermometers that allow for take quick readings from the ear canal, should you prefer this option.

Reducing fever in babies is important for reducing risks such as convulsion. Therefore we recommend that moms keep a thermometer in their home or baby bag so you can access it easily when needed.

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