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How to Take a Rectal Temperature in Babies

by | Sep 15, 2023

Taking a rectal temperature in babies is a simple process that yields the most accurate results for newborns and babies 3 months old to 6 months old. KidsStreet Urgent Care is here to educate you on how to take the temperature in the most comfortable and seamless way. 

Why Should Babies Have Rectal Temperature Readings? 

While there are other options available for taking your baby’s temperature, the rectal temperature method often gives more accurate readings compared to axillary, temporal artery, or oral temperatures. This is due to the thermometer getting a reading from the internal body temperature. 

Taking A Rectal Temperature in Babies

When taking a rectal temperature, always make sure you are using a digital thermometer as this type of thermometer is the safest. It is also important to designate this as the rectal thermometer of the household so there is no confusion among family members. 

Once you have located your digital thermometer, wash and dry it, then lubricate the tip of the thermometer with a lubricant such as petroleum jelly. 

After this, roll your child onto their belly and gently insert the lubricated thermometer into their rectum. The best practice for inserting it is about ½ inch to 1 inch. Hold the tip of the thermometer steady while it is reading the temperature. Wait until you hear the correct number of beeps and gently remove it from the child’s rectum. 

After this process, you should be able to hold the thermometer up and see if your child has a fever. It is also important to note that best practice includes writing down their numbers and time of day after you measure their temperature so you can see any changes. 

What Do I Do If My Baby Has A Fever?

Fevers in Kids vary based on the child’s age and the type of sickness they are struggling with. As a general rule, a baby’s temperature of 100.4 degrees is considered a fever. 

For infants and children up to 24 lbs, it is recommended that they only take Infant Acetaminophen, which usually comes in oral suspension drops. 

KidsStreet Urgent Care also offers fever treatments in our urgent care services for kids, and we would love to help your baby heal and feel better, FAST! 

Turn To KidsStreet Urgent Care

Need help treating your baby’s fever? KidsStreet can help!

To visit a clinic, register online. You and your child will be able to wait from your vehicle or at home until we are ready to see you. 

KidsStreet loves walk-in patients, and we accept them 7 days a week! However, we highly recommend each patient register online ahead of their visit as it reduces in-clinic wait times. Please be aware that walk-ins are added to the same queue as those who register online. 

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