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Fever In Children: How To Use A Thermometer NZ

Mother taking child's temperature with a digital thermometer

Fevers, or having a high temperature, are common in children so knowing which thermometer NZ to look for is key. Even an ordinary cold can cause a high fever.

A thermometer is an incredibly simple, yet important tool, to monitor fever or high temperature in your child, and an absolute must have item for home.

Thermometer NZ: why take your temperature?

Your child’s body temperature can signal an infection or illness and inform you what steps you need to follow next.

  • A normal temperature for children and adults is around 37°C
  • A mild fever is a temperature higher than 38°C
  • A high fever is a temperature higher than 39°C

What causes fever in children?

The most common cause of a fever in a child is a viral infection. The way we fight a viral infection is to raise the temperature inside our body, as this helps to kill the infection.

What is the best way to take their temperature?

There accuracy of temperature readings can vary depending on what thermometer is used, and where it’s taken on the body.

Which thermometer NZ is appropriate for my child’s age?

1. Oral temperature

Measure your child’s temperature in their mouth if they are 5 years or older

A digital thermometer is a common and accurate way to measure your child’s temperature.

  1. If they have been eating or drinking, wait 30 minutes before you take a temperature by mouth.
  2. Turn on the digital thermometer.
  3. Place the thermometer tip under their tongue.
  4. Close their mouth around the thermometer for the recommended amount of time or until the thermometer beep indicates it’s done.
  5. Remove the thermometer and read the number.

2. Armpit temperature

Use a digital thermometer under your child’s arm if they are under 5 years.

If you measure the temperature under their arm, it records about half to 1 degree Celsius lower than the core temperature.

A digital oral thermometer can be used in their armpit, but armpit temperatures do tend to be less accurate.

Turn on the digital thermometer.

Place the thermometer under their armpit, making sure it touches skin, not clothing.

  1. Hold in place until you hear the thermometer beep
  2. Remove the thermometer and read the number – the temperature you read is about half to 1 degree Celsius lower than your child’s actual body or core temperature

3. Ear temperature

This type of thermometer is not recommended for newborns or those under 6 months of age.

A digital ear thermometer uses an infrared ray to measure the temperature inside the ear canal.

  1. Turn on the digital thermometer.
  2. Gently place it in their ear canal as indicated by the instructions that came with it.
  3. Hold in place until you hear the thermometer beep
  4. Remove the thermometer and read the number.

4. Forehead (temporal artery) temperature

An infrared forehead thermometer is quick and easy to use, as you simply point it at your child’s forehead.

Temporal artery thermometers use an infrared scanner to measure the temperature of the temporal artery in their forehead. Many forehead thermometers are no-contact, so temperatures can be taken at a distance to prevent the spread of germs.

  1. Turn on the digital thermometer
  2. Gently sweep it across their forehead and read the number

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