How to Take Your Newborn's Temperature

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Taking a Temperature

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) no longer recommends mercury thermometers. Digital electronic thermometers are better choices. Use a digital thermometer which shows the temperature in numbers in a small window. Need to clean the thermometer with lukewarm soapy water or rubbing alcohol before each use, and then rinse with cool water. The AAP feels taking a rectal temperature is the most reliable, and taking an axillary temperature is less reliable.

Normal temperature ranges are 97.5 degrees F(36.4 C) to 99.5 degrees F (37.5 C). Most health care providers consider a rectal temperature above 100.4 degrees F (38.0 C) as a sign of a fever.