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What type of thermometer to use for 4 yo?

post #1 of 42
Thread Starter 
DS will be 4 in a few months and I'm wondering what type of thermometer is appropriate at this age. Rectal? I have an unopened Vicks Baby rectal thermometer but it says birth - 3 years. DS has actually never had a fever that necessitated using a thermometer, but I want to have one on hand for flu season, etc. I'm wondering if I could use this baby rectal one if needed (and how do kids this age usually react to that???) or if I should be buying a regular oral one.

post #2 of 42
At that age, I'd probably do axillary. You can use a regular oral thermometer, and just put it right in the middle of their armput, and then hold their arm down snugly.

If you do it this way, be aware that it hovers somewhere around a degree less than oral, which is usually around a degree less than rectal.
post #3 of 42
I don't ever use rectal thermometers. Specific temp really doesn't matter that much.

I use an ear one or a temporal one (forehead)

post #4 of 42
I love our temporal one. It works great for both my 4 year old and my two year old.
post #5 of 42
We have an ear thermometer. I would honestly never beable to bring myself to use a rectal thermometer.

The way I see it, if you know your kids general base temperature then you can probably get a good idea of if he/she has a fever so long as you use the same method to take the temp.
post #6 of 42
I'm not sure I'd want to try that on a 4 yo. Any kid, really! When I think how hard my 1 yo thrashes just during an unwelcome diaper change......
post #7 of 42
I'd use an ear thermmamator.
post #8 of 42
I've never the occasion to use a rectal thermometer. If they feel warm I've used a regular thermometer under the armpit. That's good enough for me. Dd1 started cooperating with an oral thermometer at age three. Not all kids will do that. For Dd2 (almost 2 years) we use the armpit for temps. Even our ped's office doesn't do anal temps. They either do auxilary or oral. Much easier on the kiddos. (and their parents)
post #9 of 42
I gotta say, at age 4, if my mom tried to put a thermometer in my rectum, I'd be scarred for life! I honestly don't know why they sell those. They seem more like torture instruments to me.

I have one for ears. As well as an oral one.

When I was small, my mom just used a regular old, under the armpit kind. It still used mercury! She just held my arm down for me.
post #10 of 42
When my son was 4 we had an ear thermometer. Now that he is 9 I have a forehead one... somewhere in the middle I broke down and got the forehead one... I LOVE IT...
post #11 of 42
Definitely underarm - I have never used a rectal one - even when they were babies and wouldn't let the hospital use one either - underarm is fine, I can't imagine using a rectal one on my son who is 4 - he definitely would not be pleased with me!
post #12 of 42
skip the rectal one, even hospitals don't use them on babies anymore.
post #13 of 42
After getting a foot in the face trying to take a rectal temp on DS2 right after he turned 4, we bought one of those temporal ones.
post #14 of 42
We do underarm with a regular thermometer. I want to get a temporal or ear thermometer, but my kids don't really get sick enough for me to warrent going out and getting one until the one we have breaks.
post #15 of 42
My ds was fine with a digital oral one at age 4. He liked listening for the beepbeepbeep that meant it was done.
post #16 of 42
This thread reminded me~ Did you know they actually make musical Spongebob rectal thermometers? Really.
post #17 of 42
I've only taken a temperature rectally during infancy when my babies were either too small for the ear one or didn't want to cooperate with the underarm or ear one. Neither seemed to notice the rectal thermometer and it was really fast.

That said, since a 4 year old is capable of cooperating with other methods, I would skip that route. I would pass along the unopened rectal thermometer to someone who is expecting and get something new. I've been using the ear thermometer on my almost 4 year old (and me and DH too) for a few years now.
post #18 of 42
I also love our temporal one
post #19 of 42
Tympanic are the most accurate when used properly.

Temporal will probably be really good when they iron out the kinks but at the moment they have too many problems for me to be comfortable with them...

- not validated for children
- inaccurate when forehead is sweaty, even if sweat is wiped off first
- must be in the same ambient temp as the person for 30 mins before use

We use the tympanics in ED and axilliary for children who are too small for tympanic.
post #20 of 42
Originally Posted by stormborn View Post
This thread reminded me~ Did you know they actually make musical Spongebob rectal thermometers? Really.

We have an ear thermometer that our ped said wasn't very accurate. But that's what I use first. There have been a few times, when dd was 1-2, that I used the digital rectal if I felt like I wasn't getting a decent reading. But I guess maybe the rectal isn't such a good idea now that she's older.

I remember being 5ish and laying on my belly on the couch and my mom taking my temp in my butt with a regular mercury thermometer. I was annoyed by it, but no more than anything else having to do with being sick.
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