8 doctors weighed in:

Does it matter how I take my child's temperature?

8 doctors weighed in
1 doctor agrees

In brief: No

We take the temperature by heart beat.

In brief: No

We take the temperature by heart beat.
Dr. Maurice Gunsberger
Dr. Maurice Gunsberger
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Dr. Nguyen Nguyen
Pediatrics
1 doctor agrees

In brief: Yes

The most accurate way to take the temperature is with a rectal thermometer. Most parents don't want to do this.
It's ok to use the electronic ear thermometer or the forehead thermometer. They are calibrated to reflect the rectal temperature. Just know that they sometimes read higher when the fever is high, so don't panic. Use them as an indication of whether there is a fever or not.

In brief: Yes

The most accurate way to take the temperature is with a rectal thermometer. Most parents don't want to do this.
It's ok to use the electronic ear thermometer or the forehead thermometer. They are calibrated to reflect the rectal temperature. Just know that they sometimes read higher when the fever is high, so don't panic. Use them as an indication of whether there is a fever or not.
Dr. Nguyen Nguyen
Dr. Nguyen Nguyen
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Dr. Saul Hymes
Pediatrics - Infectious Disease
1 doctor agrees

In brief: a lot

Birth to 3 months use a rectal thermometer. From 3 months to 4 years you can use rectal, ear, or temporal artery thermometers interchangeably.
Over 4 years of age, most children can hold a thermometer in their mouth and then you can take an oral temperature.

In brief: a lot

Birth to 3 months use a rectal thermometer. From 3 months to 4 years you can use rectal, ear, or temporal artery thermometers interchangeably.
Over 4 years of age, most children can hold a thermometer in their mouth and then you can take an oral temperature.
Dr. Saul Hymes
Dr. Saul Hymes
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Dr. Marcus Degraw
Pediatrics
1 doctor agrees

In brief: No

When notifying a doctor, don't add a degree as some people recommend.
Simply tell them the number and method of taking the temperature.

In brief: No

When notifying a doctor, don't add a degree as some people recommend.
Simply tell them the number and method of taking the temperature.
Dr. Marcus Degraw
Dr. Marcus Degraw
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Dr. William Singer
Pediatrics - Neurology

In brief: Many ways

The traditional ways to take temperature, orally or rectally give comparable results.
there are several new technologies available including ear temp readings and temporal scanners, which give reasonably acurate results.

In brief: Many ways

The traditional ways to take temperature, orally or rectally give comparable results.
there are several new technologies available including ear temp readings and temporal scanners, which give reasonably acurate results.
Dr. William Singer
Dr. William Singer
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