Measuring body temperature: A thermometer is used to measure a person's body temperature. The thermometer should be cleaned with warm soapy water or rubbing alcohol before and after using. If a person is using a glass thermometer, he/she should shake the thermometer until it reads 95 degrees Fahrenheit or less. The temperature can be taken in the mouth, rectum, ear, or under the arm.
- To take a person's temperature by mouth, place the thermometer under the tongue and close the mouth for three minutes.
- Body temperature may also be measured with a rectal thermometer. This method is typically used for infants and small children who cannot safely hold thermometers in their mouths. Petroleum jelly should be applied to the bulb of the thermometer. It should then be inserted about one-half to one inch into the child's anal canal. The thermometer is then removed after three minutes.
- Body temperature may also be measured by placing a thermometer under the armpit for five minutes. However, this is considered the least accurate method.
- A special ear thermometer may also be used. The digital device works by detecting infrared radiation from the ear drum.
When to visit a doctor: If a baby younger than 12 months old has a temperature higher than 100 degrees, a healthcare provider should be consulted immediately. Adults and children who have temperatures higher than 102 degrees that are not responding to medications, such as ibuprofen (Motrin®, Advil®), aspirin, or acetaminophen (Tylenol®), should visit their doctors.
A doctor can easily identify a fever after taking a person's body temperature with a thermometer. However, because it is a symptom of an underlying medical condition, the cause must be identified in order to treat the patient. During a physical examination, a healthcare provider will take a careful medical and social history to determine the underlying cause. If a patient is taking a medication that is known to cause fevers as a side effect, the medication is usually the suspected cause of the fever. Medical tests may also be necessary.
You should read product labels, and discuss all therapies with a qualified healthcare provider. Natural Standard information does not constitute medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.Measuring body temperature: A thermometer is used to measure a person's body temperature. The thermometer should be cleaned with warm soapy water or rubbing alcohol before and after using. If a person is using a glass thermometer, he/she should... More