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What kind of thermometer should my child use?

ANSWER

A digital thermometer is easy to use and safer than a glass mercury thermometer, which can sometimes break. The best specific type of digital thermometer depends on your child's age.

  • For babies and toddlers: Use a digital rectal thermometer, because they're the most accurate and easiest to use with children this age.
  • For kids ages 2 to 5: Use a digital ear or under-arm thermometer. These are not as accurate as the rectal ones, but can give you a general idea about your child's temperature.
  • For kids 5 and older (who won't bite down): Use a digital mouth thermometer. (The label may say oral thermometer.)

SOURCE:

Hansa Bhargava, MD, WebMD Medical Editor.

Reviewed by Amita Shroff on October 29, 2018

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SOURCE:

Hansa Bhargava, MD, WebMD Medical Editor.

Reviewed by Amita Shroff on October 29, 2018

THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

    This tool does not provide medical advice. See additional information.

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