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Where is the most accurate place to take my child's temperature?

The accuracy of a temperature depends on how the temp was taken:

  • Temp taken in the tush: Accurate.
  • Temp taken in the mouth: Add ½ degree.
  • Temp taken under the arm: Add 1 degree.
  • Temp taken in the ear: Accurate, theoretically (depends on the thermometer used).
YOU: Raising Your Child: The Owner's Manual from First Breath to First Grade

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YOU: Raising Your Child: The Owner's Manual from First Breath to First Grade

There’s little doubt that parenting can be one of the most rewarding and satisfying experiences you’ll ever have. But it can be plenty tough, too: Around the clock, you’re working to keep your...
Diana Meeks
Diana Meeks on behalf of Sigma Nursing
Family Practitioner
The most accurate place to take a child's temperature is in the rectum.  A rectal temperature reflects the body's core temperature.  An oral temperature is the second most accurate.  Other areas for measuring temperature such as the axillia, ear and forehead/skin are less accurate because they are obtained outside of body cavities.  It is also important to consider the age and condition of the child when choosing the place to measure body temperature.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.