How to Measure Fever in Babies?

If you are a mother, you will have many questions about infant fever. The question of where to measure fever in babies is one of them. Which type of thermometer is it possible to measure accurately in babies? Is it easy to use new generation thermometers? Should you choose a digital thermometer or infrared? If you are confused about thermometers and their use, start reading our article now!

How many types of thermometers are there?

To find the right thermometer for your baby, let’s first look at the thermometers used to measure temperature:

You can basically use 3 types of thermometers to measure your baby’s temperature.

  1. Mercury glass thermometers : These thermometers have been in use for a very long time. However, since they can break quickly and the toxic effect of mercury, which is released when broken, has reduced their use in recent years, we don’t see them much anymore.
  2. Electronic digital thermometers : These thermometers measure temperature faster than mercury glass thermometers. Since it is digital, the temperature value can be easily read from the screen. There is no risk of being affected by broken glass or toxic mercury, as in glass thermometers.
  3. Infrared thermometers : Allows you to measure temperature in just seconds. These thermometers are also divided into two.
    • Infrared ear thermometers : They measure the heat produced by the eardrum and surrounding tissue. It projects the result on the digital screen in a few seconds.
    • Infrared forehead thermometers : They measure infrared energy emanating from the skin over the eyebrow area and the surrounding tissue. It is divided into contact and non-contact. In other words, there are types that you can measure by touching your forehead or you can measure without touching it.

When you touch your child’s forehead with your lip, you can largely tell if he has a fever. However, we recommend that you measure your body temperature with the help of a thermometer in order to have precise information or to clearly understand the course of the disease by measuring it at certain intervals.

Where is fever measured in babies?

There are a few basic points that you can measure accurately in babies. After getting to know the types of thermometers, now let’s look at where the child’s temperature is measured .

From the forehead:

To measure your baby’s temperature from the forehead area;

  • After the baby and the thermometer stay in the same environment for at least 10 minutes, you should bring the forehead thermometer to the forehead area that is cleaned of dirt and hair.
  • If you’re using a contact thermometer, touch your child’s forehead. Let’s tell you where the non-contact thermometer is measured. If you are using a non-contact thermometer, you can measure your child’s temperature without touching their forehead and holding them about 5 cm away (or as specified in the thermometer’s user manual).

From the Anus (Rectum):

  • Lay your child on your lap with their legs hanging down.
  • If you are going to take the temperature on a bed or changing table, lie face down and raise your hips with a small pillow or folded towel underneath.
  • With one hand, open your child’s bottom side to side so that the anus is visible.
  • With your other hand, insert the tip of the thermometer for 2-2.5 cm and hold it in this position for about 2 minutes.
  • After the process is finished, clean the degree well. Remember that rectal measurement is considered the most accurate measurement.

Under the seat:

You can take the armpit measurement when rectal measurement is not possible.

  • Take off your child’s t-shirt and tank top, no clothes on top.
  • If your armpits are sweaty, wipe your sweat and dry it.
  • Place the tip of the degree firmly in your child’s armpit and close the arm tightly.
  • Hold in this position for about 3-4 minutes by pressing on your elbow. In the meantime, you can sing, play music, talk to your child to comfort him.

By ear:

If your child is younger than 6 months , we do not recommend taking an ear temperature measurement . So, how is fever measured in the ear? What you need to pay attention to here is that you should always measure from the same ear. Right and left ear measurement may be different, remember that!

Some time before the temperature measurement, the child;

  • If it lies on your ear,
  • If he wears a hat on his head to cover his ears,
  • If it has been exposed to too much heat or too cold,
  • After taking a bath or swimming, we recommend waiting about 30 minutes before taking a measurement.
  • Also, if your child is using an ear drop or medicine, you can take the measurement in the other ear.

By the way, if your baby’s ear is dirty, it can also cause an inaccurate temperature measurement. Also, you should not use the ear thermometer if your child has an ear infection, blood or discharge.

Oral (Oral):

We do not recommend using this method on your baby or small child. You can take the temperature measurement orally when your child is at least 4-5 years old.

In addition, the child should be able to keep the thermometer under his tongue and with his lips closed, not to bite the thermometer and to understand and apply the relevant instructions on this subject.

For a good oral measurement, carefully place the degree in the space under your child’s tongue. Keep it this way for about 2-4 minutes.

So, where should the temperature measurement be done in babies ?

  • We recommend that you measure your baby’s temperature from the rectum until the age of 2, and from the armpit after the age of 2 years.
  • If your child can follow the instructions for oral temperature measurement as we have explained above, you can start to measure the temperature orally at the age of 4-5 years.

How should the results of fever measurement in infants be evaluated?

Oral measurement is accurate, but you may have trouble applying it until your child reaches a certain age.

The rectal measurement is considered the most accurate measurement as it measures the body’s internal temperature. However, the value of this measurement can be as high as 0.5ºC to 1ºC compared to other measurements. Keep in mind!

Well, let’s take a look at what the measurement values ​​should be in order for body temperature to be considered as fever;

First of all, what should be the temperature measured from the ear? Our answer to this is that when the normal body temperature is 35.7-37.5ºC, when the measurement from the ear shows 37.6ºC and above, the baby has a fever.

Finally, what is the armpit temperature measurement? If her baby’s armpit measurement shows 37.4ºC and above while her normal body temperature is 35.7-37.3ºC, her baby has a fever.

You can also decide by looking at the table below that how many degrees the body temperature rises in which body region will be considered as fever.

body areaThermometer typeNormal body temperature weight ((ºC)Fever (ºC)
Underarm measurementDigital35.7-37.337.4
Breech measurementDigital36.6-37.938
oral measurementDigital35.5-37.537.6
ear measurementInfrared35.7-37.537.6
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