Select your child's age from the categories below to view instructions on taking temperature.
Do not use a glass thermometer.
Glass can break, and the mercury inside can be toxic!
Fever strips and home thermometers that you sweep across the forehead are not accurate or reliable enough.
Do not use an oral thermometer to take a rectal temperature, or a rectal thermometer to take an oral temperature
Digital thermometers can take rectal, armpit, or oral readings. They are unbreakable, easy to read, and measure quickly.
There are several ways to take your child's temperature. The right method depends on your child's age to ensure accuracy. Click the button below showing your child's age for instructions on the ideal and optional methods for taking temperature.
This is the most accurate method for children 5 or older.
Most fevers can be cared for at home (see tips below), but seek help from a healthcare provider if your child:
When caring for a feverish child at home, the following tips will help keep your child comfortable until their fever natually resolves:
Keep your child comfortable and offer plenty of fluids (water, clear soup, breast milk, etc.).
Remove excess (but not all) clothing and blankets.
Monitor for signs of dehydration.
Check on your child during the night.
Keep your child at home.
Medication is not always needed to reduce a child's temperature.
Treat aches and pains with ibuprofen or acetaminophen (not Aspirin (ASA)).
Always follow the directions on the bottle and do not exceed recommended dosages unless your doctor prescribes a different dosage based upon your child's weight .
Remember that a fever is the body's natural response to infection, and most fevers will go away after 72 hours.