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I seem to remember from when I was a C.N.A. that rectal temps were 1 degree high (so subtract 1 degree to get the actual temp) Axillary (under the arm) temps were 1 degree low (so add 1 degree to get the actual temp) and oral temps and/or ear temps were right on and there was no math needed. Does anyone know if this applies with babies?


Asked by CarolynBarnett at 10:53 AM on Oct. 2, 2008 in Babies (0-12 months)

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Answers (8)
  • I'm a pediatrics nurse... so...
    A normal rectal temp would be from about 98.6-100, usually in the 99's range
    Normal Axillary temp- 97's-98's
    Tympanic (ear)- the one we use at the hospital is usually upper 98's-99's and you need to make sure they weren't sleeping on that ear because it makes the temp hotter

    Answer by AmiJanell at 4:39 PM on Oct. 2, 2008

  • I ask because Kaylee (almost 5 months old) feels really warm to me. She felt like this last night when I got home (around 10pm) and I took her temp (axillary) and it came up at 98.6...but if I had to add a degree to make it correct it would be 99.6....she was extremely fussy and did not go to sleep until 10:15 which is VERY abnormal for her (Her bed time is 9:00) So I gave her 1/2 a dose of Tylonal and it seemed to help her. \\
    Well now this morning, she is feeling very warm again, and she is supposed to go to Grandma's when I go to work this afternoon (2pm) but I don't want to send her off if she is getting sick. What do you ladies think?

    Answer by CarolynBarnett at 10:53 AM on Oct. 2, 2008

  • Anything oral is right on, including rectal. Anyting Auxillary you subtract 1. I'm not sure there is any place you can take it where it reads a degree higher than it should...

    Answer by ReneeK3 at 10:56 AM on Oct. 2, 2008

  • Also, if I remember right, a fever of 101 or higher in a baby under 6 months is bad. She should see a doctor immediately if it gets that high. Good luck!

    Answer by ReneeK3 at 10:57 AM on Oct. 2, 2008

  • Thank you, I must have had them mixed up (it has been a little over 2 years since I stopped working as a C.N.A.)

    She still feels warm to me, but her temp is still coming back at 98 degrees so I suppose she will be OK. I will just send the thermometer with her to grandma's so she can keep an eye on her :)

    Answer by CarolynBarnett at 11:01 AM on Oct. 2, 2008

  • What you posted in your original question is what my doctor told me. If you're not sure, you can call your doctor's office and the nurse should be able to tell you over the phone. I hope your LO feels better soon.

    Answer by KaroGreenly at 11:39 AM on Oct. 2, 2008

  • Auxiliary temperatures are less accurate and should only be used to verify if baby has a temp or not--not for an accurate gauge of the actual termp. If the auxiliary temperature is greater than 99 ° F (aprox equivelent to 101° rectal), the temperature should be taken again rectally.

    And it is Aux+1=oral=rectal-1 for an child or adult...for a baby, rectally is always the most accurte guage of the actual temp, but I can understand not wanting to do a rectal temp for baby if you don't have to, so what I usually do is take it the other way, and only take a rectal if it looks like it would be over 101°--which thankfully has only happend once...)

    Answer by thalassa at 12:31 PM on Oct. 2, 2008

  • Great, that's what I thought, thank you ladies :) So it would seem that she has been running a low grade temp, but like Thalassa said, I don't think I will do a rectal unless it seems that it would be over 101.

    Thank you so much for your replies :)

    Answer by CarolynBarnett at 1:14 PM on Oct. 2, 2008