Baby Thermometer and Its Significance in Child Treatment
Monitoring your baby's core body temperature during illness is very important for two reasons. Firstly, it gives an indication of the progress of the illness. If the temperature is getting higher it normally means that the illness is developing; if it is falling lower it normally means that the illness is passing. Secondly and more importantly however, during illness the body sometimes overreacts and the body temperature rises far too high. Although very rare thus can lead to fitting, coma and even death.
Which type of thermometer is best? Are thermometer guidelines different for babies and older children? Here's what you need to know to take your child's temperature.
A glass mercury thermometer was once a staple in most medicine cabinets. Today, mercury thermometers are no longer recommended because they can break and allow mercury to vaporize and be inhaled. When choosing a thermometer, consider these options:
• Digital thermometers. These thermometers use electronic heat sensors to record body temperature. They can be used in the rectum (rectal), mouth (oral) or armpit (axillary). Armpit temperatures, however, are typically the least accurate of the three.
• Digital ear thermometers (tympanic membrane). These thermometers use an infrared ray to measure the temperature inside the ear canal. Keep in mind that earwax or a small, curved ear canal can interfere with the accuracy of an ear thermometer temperature.
• Digital pacifier thermometer. Your child simply sucks on the pacifier until the peak temperature is recorded.
• Temporal artery thermometers. These thermometers use an infrared scanner to measure the temperature of the temporal artery in the forehead.
• Whatever type of thermometer you use, carefully read the instructions that come with it. Before and after each use, clean the tip of the thermometer with rubbing alcohol or soap and lukewarm water.
• If you plan to use a digital thermometer to take a rectal temperature, get another digital thermometer for oral use. Label each thermometer, and don't use the same thermometer in both places.
• For safety - and to make sure the thermometer stays in place never leave your child unattended while you're taking his or her temperature.
The best type of thermometer or the best place to insert the thermometer, in some cases — depends on your child's age.
• Birth to 3 months. Use a regular digital thermometer to take a rectal temperature. New research suggests that a temporal artery thermometer might also provide accurate readings in newborns.
• 3 months to 4 years. A rectal temperature provides the best readings for children up to age 3. In this age range you can also use a digital thermometer to take an armpit temperature, a temporal artery thermometer or a digital pacifier thermometer. However, wait until your baby is at least 6 months old to use a digital ear thermometer. If you use another type of thermometer to take a young child's temperature and you're in doubt about the results, take a rectal temperature.
• 4 years and older. By age 4, most kids can hold a digital thermometer under the tongue for the short time it takes to get a temperature reading. You can also use a regular digital thermometer to take an armpit temperature, a temporal artery thermometer or a digital ear thermometer.
Conventional thermometers are not easy to use on your baby. The oral route requires cooperation, the underarm route is less accurate and the rectal route is unpleasant and causes discomfort. Conventional thermometers are also very slow as it takes time for the bulb to rise to body temperature before an accurate and stable reading can be obtained.
How it's done
1. Rectal temperature. Turn on the digital thermometer and lubricate the tip of the thermometer with petroleum jelly. Lay your baby or child on his or her back, lift his or her thighs, and insert the lubricated thermometer 1/2 to 1 inch (1.3 to 2.5 centimeters) into the rectum. Stop if you feel any resistance. Hold the thermometer in place until the thermometer signals that it's done. Remove the thermometer and read the number.
2. Oral temperature. Turn on the digital thermometer. Place the tip of the thermometer under your child's tongue and ask your child to keep his or her lips closed. Remove the thermometer when it signals that it's done and read the number. If your child has been eating or drinking, wait at least 30 minutes to take his or her temperature by mouth. If your child is too congested to breathe through his or her nose, you might need to use another method.
3. Armpit temperature. Turn on the digital thermometer. When you place the thermometer under your child's armpit, make sure it touches skin not clothing. Hold the thermometer tightly in place until the thermometer signals that it's done. Remove the thermometer and read the number.
4. Ear temperature. Turn on the thermometer. Gently place the thermometer in your child's ear. Follow the directions that come with thermometer to ensure you insert the thermometer the proper distance into the ear canal. Hold the thermometer tightly in place until the thermometer signals that it's done. Remove the thermometer and read the number.
5. Temporal artery temperature. Turn on the thermometer. Gently sweep the thermometer across your child's forehead. Remove the thermometer and read the number.
Before purchasing thermometers, you need to know the different types of thermometer:
Digital Baby Thermometer
These digital thermometers are just like the old mercury ones, but they are the improved ones. With this type, you don't need to shake to have mercury down. You can get a good reading right away. Also, no hazardous mercury will be spilled once it is broken.
This digital is used when taking temperature in rectal and auxiliary areas for infants. Once the child is older, this thermometer can be placed in the mouth. When you use a digital for taking rectal temperature, once you've done it correctly, you may get an accurate reading. This is the reason why children are taken temperature this way in the hospital.
Pacifier Baby Thermometer
It is a breeze when you give a child a pacifier. And with that though comes the pacifier. It makes the temperature reading hassle free. In the nipple of the pacifier, the thermometer is being placed and a digital screen is placed in front to show the reading. But this one is not recommended to have an accurate reading at all. Some are not equipped with alarm to tell the parents that the reading is done. And sometimes, they may slip out of the mouth.
Ear Baby Thermometer
This type of thermometer is also called aural or tympanic. This type of uses infrared sensors to indicate the body temperature. This thermometer works quickly. But, the readings of an ear thermometer is said to be inaccurate. The readings may vary. For toddlers and older children, inaccuracy of small degree is not that important. However, with new babies, accuracy is very much important. Though using ear thermometer is easier that rectal thermometer, still, you should not compromise the accuracy.
Temporal Artery Baby Thermometers
This is the latest type of thermometers. This baby thermometer can gauge body temperature just by scanning it on the forehead, making it easier and gentle for sleeping babes. There are studies that say that temporal artery thermometer is as accurate as rectal. Also, other studies supported this one and say that this is better than the rectal as it can identify the changes rapidly.
There are many probabilities of getting a fever, particularly when there is seasonal change. So, it's quite possible that the baby's temperature may rise. There are multiple reasons behind that, like when a human falls prey to a certain disease, the body's reproduction system of microorganism slows down, which increases temperature. Your first job as a parent here is to calculate the temperature, a simple baby thermometer will be sufficient for you in doing this job.
Some people might not take this as an important thing to do. However, remember monitoring the temperature is highly important from three perspectives. First, it gives you an idea about the present condition of the baby. Secondly, you can judge the progress of the illness such as whether it is rising or falling. Another important aspect that you cannot and should not ignore is that sometimes, the temperature gets too high owing to overreaction by the body. This can lead to serious problems, which although rare , should not be ignored.
Although it's over-emphasizing, but for young parents, it's very important to know that for babies, conventional thermometers are not used. This is because, the oral devices require that the patient must cooperate, and it also sounds a bit uncomfortable for the little angels. Moreover, traditional thermometers are also sluggish and take a bit of time to give you an accurate analysis of the body. Conversely, a specialized baby thermometer might be very helpful and prove to be good alternative for you.
1. Turn on the digital thermometer and choose between Fahrenheit and Celsius reading.
2. Apply petroleum jelly or other lubricant to the tip of the thermometer.
3. Insert the thermometer short of 1 inch into the child's rectum without any force or pressure and wait for the reading to be ready.
4. Read the temperature off the thermometer.
5.Clean the thermometer thoroughly with soap and warm water.
Earlier, they were expensive, so people could not buy them out easily. So they had to go the doctors to get the baby checked by specialized devices. However, nowadays, the thermometers are available for households and can be bought for some dollars.If you don't have it, preferably buy an ear thermometer for your babies because it will give you further ease and will not irritate the baby as well. Moreover, a baby ear thermometer is highly accurate because it analyzes with the help of ears and brain which control the body. Additionally, it is quicker and gives you accurate results very briskly. You can search on the web and get the one of your choice as per your specifications and price range at a nearby store.
In addition to this, you must keep the internal temperature of home/room at a position prescribed by your physician. Never rely on a general doctor, always consult some child specialist for this matter.
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