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Okay, why won't you just READ the instructions?!

How come many moms I encountered last night didn't even know that a rectal temperature reads an entire degree warmer than the temperature would read at an oral temperature?

For that matter I bet they did not know that an axillary tends to read a degree lower, and at home ear temperatures for babies very young are not recommended (innacuracy).

The temperature should always be -above or at- 99 degrees in a rectal.. why? Because if you read what I wrote before.. the temperature is only 98 degrees if the temperature reads 99. Anything below 98 your baby is actually a bit chilled and you should put them against your skin or put more clothing on them..

And, axillary temperatures tend to be an entire degree too COOL. So, if you think the temperature says a not-so-concerning 98.9 it may actually be --99.9-- .. !

Grrr. WHY won't you guys read the instructions, especially about something so important????

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 9:49 AM on Oct. 30, 2009 in Babies (0-12 months)

Answers (21)
  • This is why I do like the doctor office and use a forehead one.

    Answer by purpleducky at 9:52 AM on Oct. 30, 2009

  • Geeesh! Thanks...I didn't know that! Are you a nurse? Because most people won't know that. Now I do! I only take my older boys temp in the mouth with a digital thermometer and my baby rectally. Thanks again for that very important piece of info!

    Answer by mamaada at 9:55 AM on Oct. 30, 2009

  • Forehead temps are the least accurate, just so you know!

    Answer by Anonymous at 9:56 AM on Oct. 30, 2009

  • you don't have to be a nurse to know that, even though i

    NOT OP

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:12 AM on Oct. 30, 2009

  • What instructions? The thermometers I have don't come with insturctions like that. Plus, I just list to the pedi who said if the temp is over 100.4 rectally, then call. As she got older, they didn't care unless the temp was over 101.4 rectally. So the add doesn't really matter in that case. Did you also know that temps are typically higher in the afternoon evenings?

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:20 AM on Oct. 30, 2009

  • I never did a rectal temp with my 3 kids and never allowed anyone else to do one. There is a risk of injury that can lead to serious infection that can be fatal. My kids are older and were babies in the 80's when there were fewer ways to take temps. No one ever gave me grief when I requested no rectal temps and they were sick a lot, they have immune deficiencies. Even in the hospital they would comply with my wishes.

    I'm a registered Medical Laboratory Technologist and I know the microbiology involved.

    Knowing an exact temp isn't all that important. You need to know if you have a fever, a high fever, or a dangerously high fever. One degree one way or the other usually doesn't matter.

    Answer by Gailll at 10:21 AM on Oct. 30, 2009

  • OP)) Forehead temperatures are indeed the least accurate method.

    Use rectal, it is the most accurate way to take a baby's temperature, it's just supposed to be a degree warmer.. 98.6 oral temperature is a rectal 99.6.

    I'm not a nurse - I just read instructions.

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:21 AM on Oct. 30, 2009

  • Here is a nice decision tree for parents about fever in children.

    Answer by Gailll at 10:26 AM on Oct. 30, 2009

  • OP) Gailll, that's different.

    And, the message is not about one degree it's about proper usage!!! Like, in a newborn that someone keeps thinking has a fever because they have a rectal temperature of 99.8 and are freaking out about it and may take them to the flu-infested ER over. And, if someone is taking armpit temp without reading instructions they might not leave it in there long enough or do it wrong and not realize the actual temp and take the wrong course of action because they don't think the fever is serious when it is deadly serious.

    Also, knowing that you should not use an ear thermometer is another important thing. They tend to be very hard to get an accurate reading in many babies - I tested it out even. My son had a fever (102) and the ear temperature kept saying 98.7 regardless of how I put it in his ear..

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:33 AM on Oct. 30, 2009

  • OP) And to anon about temps being higher in afternoon and evening.. I know, but the main message is people do not know --this simple stuff I am saying-- so they are most likely doing something else wrong.

    And you're right about 100.4 and 101.4 and -- but people don't usually seem to -know that either-

    And, hmm, my thermometers came with instructions.. but if they don't people should still Google it or something. They are online, so why not look up how to properly take a temperature and what temperatures mean? They think it is extremely simple and they know the information already? Obviously they don't or I wouldn't have to correct them.

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:42 AM on Oct. 30, 2009

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