How to Use a Rectal Thermometer


Rectal temperatures are considered to be the most accurate. However, the digital ear thermometers have gained in popularity, taking over as the thermometer of choice in many emergency rooms.

Things You'll Need

  • Isopropyl Alcohols
  • Antibacterial Soaps
  • Facial Tissues
  • Petroleum Jelly
  • Rectal Thermometer
  • Shake down the mercury in your rectal thermometer to below the 98 degrees F mark.

  • Check the thermometer under a bright light to make sure the mercury is down.

  • Lubricate the end of the glass thermometer with petroleum jelly.

  • Ask your child to lie on her left side with knees bent or across your lap.

  • Insert the thermometer into the rectum approximately one inch. Never force the thermometer.

  • Ask the child to lie still.

  • Remove the thermometer after two minutes. Use a watch to make sure you have left the thermometer in for the full two minutes. Pulling a thermometer out too early will cause you to miss a fever.

  • Wipe the thermometer off with a tissue. Unless the glass is wiped clean, it is difficult to get an accurate reading.

  • Hold the thermometer under a bright light to get your reading. Take your time. The mercury will not drop, once it has been removed from the rectum.

  • Understand that a normal rectal temperature is 99.6 degrees F.

Tips & Warnings

  • Many of the digital ear thermometers have switchable tips, allowing you to use the same thermometer to take rectal temperatures.
  • Especially in children, normal temperatures can fluctuate by a degree.
  • Avoid taking a rectal temperature immediately after activity, a bowel movement or a hot bath or shower.
  • Clean a rectal thermometer in soapy warm water and then wipe it with isopropyl alcohol. Never use water warmer than 97 degrees F.
  • Never use a glass oral thermometer in a rectum. The oral tip is slender and easier to break than a rectal thermometer tip.

Related Searches

Promoted By Zergnet


You May Also Like

  • Side Effects of Laxatives

    Laxatives are among the most commonly sold nonprescription drugs. Various forms of laxatives are used to treat varying degrees of constipation in...

  • How to Take a Rectal Temperature

    There are times when a temperature needs to be taken rectally. Children with disabilities need rectal temperature's because they don't stay still...

  • Safety 1st Thermometer Instructions

    Safety 1st is a company that sells all sorts of safe products for families with infants and small children. On its website...

  • How to Read an Oral Thermometer

    Taking temperatures using an oral (mouth) thermometer is not difficult, especially if you using a digital thermometer. Make sure the tip of...

  • Instructions for a Vicks Digital Thermometer

    When it comes to health, accuracy and speed are most important in determining if something is wrong. The Vicks Digital Thermometer provides...

  • The Difference Between Oral & Rectal Thermometers

    There are three main ways to take a temperature--orally, rectally and axillarily. This is done by inserting the thermometer in the mouth,...

  • How to Use a Thermometer

    When using a digital thermometer, administer it orally or by inserting it into the rectum to achieve quick calculated results. Learn to...

Related Searches

Check It Out

This Is the Beauty Routine of a Yelp Sales Manager

Is DIY in your DNA? Become part of our maker community.
Submit Your Work!