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Methods for taking a toddler's temperature?

posted 8 years 2 months ago
Taking my daughters temperature when she is sick has been easy until a few months ago. She is now almost two and I cannot get her to stay still. I have used a rectal thermometer since she was a newborn and never had an issue. When she turned one year, it was more of a two person job to hold her still but we still managed. I have an ear thermometer but I have read in many books that they are not accurate. I also tried to take her temperature orally but she had a big tantrum. My daughter gets frustrated easily and can be oversensitive. I am hoping she grows out of it and we are monitoring her signs of developmental delays. Last week she was very sick and burning up what felt like a high fever. I attempted to take a rectal reading by laying her down and giving her something to play with. I wasn't able to have it in long enough for a correct reading. I realize this is a tough age for some parents who may have aggressive, head strong children like mine. For those parents, what methods do you use to read your toddler's temperature?

posted 8 years 2 months ago
As children grow older, they feel very uncomfortable with the rectal method. Try putting the thermometer under her armpit and hold her hand down; then sing her favorite nursery rhymes. She will get distracted until the thermometer beeps.

This works all the time for my son. I hope it works for you as well.

posted 8 years 2 months ago
I also have a headstrong little 2-year-old. I used to use an ear thermometer, but the readings weren't accurate. So hubby and I decided to "invest" in a No-Touch thermometer. Mine is a Braun thermometer and taking her and her baby sister's temperatures are much easier now. We spent about R780 (ZAR) on ours, we bought it online at With this thermometer, I can take her temperature while she is sleeping (it has a mute button, and shows a green, yellow or red light depending on the temperature when it's done). Or I take it while she's awake by just aiming the light at her forehead, it takes literally 3 seconds to give a reading. The best buy I've ever made regarding thermometers. No poking or sticking things anywhere uncomfortable.

Here is the website for the Braun one (you get different brands of the No-Touch Thermometers these days).

posted 8 years 1 month ago
Would it be okay if you try to make up a story when taking her temperature?

Maybe you can include her favorite toys to be the characters of the story, say one doll is falling sick, and she's visiting the doctor. Then, the doctor thinks he needs to take the temperature of the doll, and he takes out the thermometer and place it on the doll's forehead. Perhaps you can try to let the "doctor" take the temperature from a few more other dolls, then go to your daughter and ask if she'd like to take the temperature as well.....

Or perhaps you can ask your daughter to be the doctor and take the temperature of the dolls, and perhaps when one doll complains she doesn't want to take the temperature, and the doctor (your daughter) shows how easy and comfortable it is to take the temperature by placing the thermometer on her forehead......

I am not sure about others, but my kids can easily fall into stories (even make-up stories) and they will just stay calm and listen to the stories. Hope this might give you some ideas.

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