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How Do I Take a Rectal Temperature?

One of the best ways to take a temperature in infants and younger youngsters is by taking a rectal temperature. Don’t be concerned — it is a easy and secure course of.


  • In case your child has had a shower or has been beneath blankets or in a number of layers (or swaddled, if an toddler), wait about 20–half-hour to take the temperature. 
  • Use a digital thermometer. Don’t use a glass thermometer, as these aren’t secure.
  • Wash the top of the thermometer with cleaning soap and water and rinse with water.
  • Moisten the tip of the thermometer with a lubricant, similar to petroleum jelly.

Then, place your baby:

  • belly-down throughout your lap or on a agency, flat floor and preserve your palm alongside the decrease again
  • face-up with legs bent towards the chest together with your hand in opposition to the again of the thighs

Along with your different hand:

  • Insert the lubricated thermometer into the anal opening about ½ inch to 1 inch (about 1.25 to 2.5 centimeters), or till the tip of the thermometer is absolutely within the rectum. Cease for those who really feel any resistance.
  • Regular the thermometer between your second and third fingers as you cup your hand in opposition to your kid’s backside. Soothe your baby and communicate quietly as you maintain the thermometer in place.

  • Wait till you hear the proper variety of beeps or different sign that the temperature is able to be learn. Write down the quantity on the display screen, noting the time of day that you simply took the studying.
  • A studying of 100.4°F (38°C) or above means your baby has a fever.
  • Wash the thermometer with cleaning soap and water and label it for rectal use so it received’t be used to take oral temperatures.
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Date reviewed: November 2022



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