Rectal thermometry is taking a person's temperature by inserting a thermometer into the rectum via the anus. Thus, it is often used sparingly and primarily on infants, children, or adults for whom taking an oral temperature would risk injury e. The precise history of rectal thermometry is largely unknown, but medical thermometers have long been made in a tube shape that fits into the anus. Medical literature shows the practice dating back to at least the 18th century, and it is probable that rectal thermometry was thought to be a safer alternative to oral temperature-taking, due to the use of mercury and other toxic chemicals in early thermometers.
For The Most Accurate Read, Where Should You Put That Thermometer?
Giving the Rectal Thermometer its Due — Tracking Zebra
Your child may be sick, but not have a fever. If you are worried about your child being sick, please call your doctor. Recommended for children younger than 4 years of age, anyone who cannot hold a thermometer safely in their mouths or anyone who has a stuffy nose. Do not leave the child alone when taking a rectal temperature. Rectal perforation can occur if the thermometer is not used properly.
Today's digital thermometers make taking a baby's temperature simple with quick results. For best results in babies and toddlers up to 3 years of age, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends taking the temperature rectally, by placing a thermometer in the baby's anus. This method is accurate and gives a quick reading of the baby's internal temperature. A newer method to measure temperature called temporal artery thermometry is also considered very accurate.
All kids get a fever from time to time. A fever itself usually causes no harm and can actually be a good thing — it's often a sign that the body is fighting an infection. But a high fever sometimes is a sign of a problem that needs your doctor's attention. Digital thermometers give the quickest, most accurate readings, and are the only kind that doctors currently recommend.