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Health Tip: Using a Rectal Thermometer

It's preferred for babies younger than 3 months

(HealthDay News) -- New parents may cringe at the thought of taking a child's temperature through the rectum. However, the Nemours Foundation advises, this is the most convenient way to receive a quick and accurate reading for children younger than 3 months.

Here are some suggestions:

  • Lubricate the tip of the thermometer.
  • Place the child facedown across your lap while supporting his head, or lay the child down on a firm surface.
  • Place one hand on your child's lower back.
  • Use the other hand to insert the thermometer through the anal opening, about an inch into it. If you feel resistance, stop.
  • Steady the thermometer between your second and third fingers as you cup your hand against the baby's bottom.
  • Soothe your child by speaking calmly.
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