How To Measure A Child’s Temperature In Fever #A2ZChallenge

Every child has a fever every now and then. This lasts for a few days before it vanishes. However, what is important is that we should record the temperature accurately. 


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We as parents and individuals are well aware of the term Fever. Everyone has had a fever in their life sometime or the other. Also, children keep getting a fever from time to time. Though fevers can drain a child, in a way they are good as they are a sign of the body fighting against an infection.

Why Does Fever Happen: All of us know what a thermostat’ is. As per Wikipedia, a thermostat is a component which senses the temperature of a physical system and performs actions so that the system’s temperature is maintained near a desired setpoint.

Similarly, our body has a thermostat situated in the hypothalamus of the brain. The hypothalamus also the thermostat of the body knows that the body temperature should be around 98.6°F/37°C. When the temperature fluctuates, it sends signals to the body to maintain the same. However, in case of an infection, the hypothalamus resets the body temperature to a higher temperature than the normal. This is a phenomenon for the body to fight against the germs causing infection. When the body temperature is high it becomes uncomfortable for the germs to stay in the body.

Causes of Fever: Basically, fever is not an ailment on its own. It is often a sign of other conditions. But certain conditions like infections, seasonal changes, cough, cold and immunisation in children can cause fevers. However, in some conditions, a fever may get worse as well.

Drugs that lower fever may make children feel better but do not affect the disorder causing the fever Click To Tweet

How To Take a Child’s Temperature: Although a gentle hand placed on a child’s forehead is good enough to know whether they have a fever or not. However, this does not tell the exact reading. These days digital thermometers are used since they are easy to use and give a quick reading. Also, glass thermometers are refrained from using since they have chances of breaking thereby exposing people to mercury. Some of the best methods to record temperatures when a child has a fever are:

Rectal Temperatures: This is the most accurate method for recording temperature since they are closest to the child’s body temperature. Before the temperature is recorded the thermometer is coated with a lubricant and inserted 1/2 to 1 inch in the child’s rectum. The child should lie facing down. This is apt for children who are 5 years old and younger.

Ear Temperatures: Temperature from the ear is recorded through a digital device which measures the infrared radiation of the eardrum. The thermometer probe is kept around the opening of the ear so that a seal is established. Once this is achieved, the button is pressed and a digital printout is available for the readings. However, this method is not very reliable in infants and children below 3 months.

Oral Temperatures: All of us aware of this method. Here a digital thermometer is placed under the child’s tongue. Though this is a reliable and accurate method, it is difficult to obtain correct readings in young children. This is because young children do not close their mouth properly when the thermometer is inserted in their mouth. Thus this does not give an accurate reading. Oral temperatures can be taken reliably after age 4.

Armpit Temperatures: In this, the temperature is recorded by placing a digital thermometer in the armpit with direct skin contact. In this method the reading is low, vary too much and not too accurate. However, if one is uncomfortable to take readings by other methods then this method can be used. At least something is better than not measuring the temperature at all.

Forehead Temperatures: For taking the readings through this method, a digital device is used which measures infrared radiation from the temporal artery (artery in the forehead). When recording temperature through this method, the thermometer is moved across the forehead with the scan button being pressed. This method is not so accurate.

Every child gets a fever and they are back to their normal selves in a few days. Getting cranky is quite normal. I remember the last time I had a fever I was equally cranky as my daughter. Do you also get cranky when you have a fever?

Source of Pictures: Google Images

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Shubhra Rastogi Written by:

Well, about me I can say that I am a certified dentist, healthcare analyst, medical writer and above all a mother of a 6-year-old. Most of my day to day activities revolve around her and she is my inspiration to start this blog. As a mother, I experimented with a lot of new things for my little one in a quest to find the best for her. I just want to share my experiences of being a happy and content mum.

20 Comments

  1. April 6, 2019
    Reply

    Shubhra that was quite detailed and informative post. As a mother, checking temperature during fever is the most challenging thing.
    Will look forward for your next on Monday.

    • Shubhra Rastogi
      April 6, 2019
      Reply

      Thanks, Mansi. I agree checking fever can be quiet challenging in young children.

  2. April 6, 2019
    Reply

    So many different ways to take body temperature. Thank you for enlightening. There used to be a joke – what is the difference between an oral and a rectal thermometer?
    Answer is : taste.

    • Shubhra Rastogi
      April 6, 2019
      Reply

      Haha that is in fact true

  3. April 6, 2019
    Reply

    Very Informative Shubhra… It took me almost 5 years of motherhood to understand that fever is only the body’s way of regulating & fighting the infection. for my first child, i was always scared of fever… Thanks, for sharing all this info

    • Shubhra Rastogi
      April 6, 2019
      Reply

      Yes, fever is actually a way of fighting infection. Thanks for visiting by

  4. April 6, 2019
    Reply

    I am totally new to some of the means of measuring temperatures like Rectal, Ear and Forehead. Thanks for sharing.

    • Shubhra Rastogi
      April 6, 2019
      Reply

      Thank you for visiting by

    • Shubhra Rastogi
      April 6, 2019
      Reply

      Sure go ahead Vidya

  5. April 6, 2019
    Reply

    Apart from oral and armpit I didnt know about any of these till I came to Poland, here Doctors check it mostly through forehead or ears. Rectal way is something new to me. Thanks for sharing.

    • Shubhra Rastogi
      April 6, 2019
      Reply

      In India, mostly oral and armpit are used. Thanks for visiting by!

  6. April 6, 2019
    Reply

    Because of my marriage to a doctor, I’m aware of the different measurements of temperature. That’s why I applaud you for the amount of research and details you have put in this post.

  7. Shubhra Rastogi
    April 6, 2019
    Reply

    Thank you, Sonia.

  8. April 7, 2019
    Reply

    I have taken oral and armpit temperature for my kid. I am aware of rectal temperature but havent seen any doc checking that way, Ear and forehead are new for me, Thanks for an informative post!!

    • Shubhra Rastogi
      April 7, 2019
      Reply

      Thanks for visiting by Shilpa!

  9. April 7, 2019
    Reply

    so many ways, I knew many of them but thanks that you jotted them down for the refresher. a well-researched post.

    • Shubhra Rastogi
      April 7, 2019
      Reply

      Thanks Pragun

  10. April 8, 2019
    Reply

    I am often and always confused when it comes to what is the normal temperature and then the fuss of inserting the thermometer in the armpit. It is a task. This post helps.

    • Shubhra Rastogi
      April 8, 2019
      Reply

      Thanks Siddhi

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