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Rectal Temp and other questions...

My son (13 months) wouldn't keep the binky thermometer in and wouldn't set still with the under the arm way of taking a temp so I took a rectal temp. It read 98.9 but do you add a degree this way or not?

My son is also coughing really bad too... is there anything I can give him to help the cough? I just got a terrible cough yesterday and he has gotten it today so I feel for him. I feel horrible with medicine so I can't imagine what he feels like. Any suggestions?

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Asked by leann74016 at 10:17 PM on Feb. 10, 2010 in Toddlers (1-2)

Level 16 (2,449 Credits)
Answers (3)
  • No, rectal temp is the most accurate so there's no need to do anything with that reading. If his rectal temp is 98.9, then he definitely doesn't have a fever. And unfortunately, they don't make cough medicine for toddlers; I was looking the other day, and I think the youngest age I saw was 4 for a basic expectorant. The best thing to do would be a humidifier, and maybe get one of those Vicks or Triaminic vapor things that you plug in or is battery operated and which produces a menthol vapor; that might help clear him up a little. Other than that, you can give him some Benadryl or other antihistamine for a runny nose, but that's about it. It sucks when they're that young and there's nothing you can do for them. :(

    Answer by DragonRiderMD at 10:26 PM on Feb. 10, 2010

  • A rectal temp is what it is, you don't add or subtract. You would expect a normal rectal temp to be around 98.5-99.9 and a temp of 100.5 would be very low grade temp... if it were 101 I would say he had a fever.
    It's kind of pricey... but they is a great temporal thermometer out by Exergen and it's about $33... we just bought one a couple of weeks ago because my son acts like you are murdering him if I try to do an under arm temp and won't stay still for rectal. We use the same brand in the hospital (although our looks a bit different) I found it to be very accurate and easy to use and I could use it on him sleeping as well.
    As far as cough medicine, there is nothing approved for children his age. We use vapor bath, baby Vicks and a humidifier in his room.

    Answer by AmiJanell at 11:56 PM on Feb. 10, 2010

  • Since your child is over the age of one, you can give him a little bit of honey. When my son gets a cough, I get about a teaspoon of warmed up honey (not hot!) and add some lemon juice and give it to him. It really helps soothe his cough.
    You can also rub some vicks rub on his FEET and put some socks on.

    Both oddly work very well.

    Answer by Glowing4Caleb at 9:38 AM on Feb. 11, 2010

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