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.