October 18, 2008,
A.B. asks from Muskogee, OK on September 16, 2008
Do You Add a Degree to Underarm Temp?
I've heard so many different things on underarm temps, does anyone know if you are supposed to add a degree or not? Please help I'm not sure because of everything I heard and I need to know so I can properly take my daughters temp.
K.S. answers from New Orleans on September 18, 2008
Don't add, just report to the doctor that the temp was taken under the arm. They'll know it's probably higher internally. It's hard to say a hard an fast rule because all kids are different.
S.M. answers from Monroe on September 16, 2008
Yes, you are correct. Under the arm you add a degree. In the bottom you subtract a degree. The temp in the mouth is the correct temp - you neither add nor subtract.
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B.L. answers from Texarkana on September 17, 2008
Yes. You can buy a baby thermometer that is callibrated for their temperature to be taken under their arm, then you don't have to do anything (but make sure that if you are telling a nurse the baby's temp that you also tell them that the thermometer is specifically designed for temps under the arm) Otherwise, you need to add a degree.
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A.W. answers from Baton Rouge on September 16, 2008
Yes, under the arm (also called "axillary temp"), you add 1 degree. Rectal, you subtract 1 degree.
H.L. answers from Birmingham on September 21, 2008
I've always heard that you do.
M.K. answers from Monroe on September 17, 2008
you actually add .9 degrees to the temp, so if you get an underarm temp of 97.2 then it is really 98.1, or if you get 98.6 the it's really 99.5. This isn't the most reliable method of temperature taking because how much clothing they do/do not have on and how they were laying prior to temp taking can affect it, but it is a safe guesstimate if something is wrong. I personally would invest in a good temporal artery thermometer that you rub on their foreheads, but that's just me.
S.S. answers from Lawton on September 17, 2008
Underarm isn't really accurate enough for a three month old. You should take her temperature anally.
L.J. answers from Birmingham on September 17, 2008
yes under the arm you add a degree, but with a 3 month old you need to take it rectally if you want the most accurate.
S.W. answers from Fort Smith on September 23, 2008
You do not add a degree no matter how or where you take their temp!! I take their temp rectally. It is the most accurate.
My oldest is 4 now, but she started having febrile (fever) seizures when she was 9 months. We always heard you add a degree if taken under the arm and minus a degree if taken rectally, but that isn't true.
I feel like the thermometers we buy don't do good under the arm or in the ears.
Good Luck, D'Anne
K.F. answers from Huntsville on September 24, 2008
You don't need to worry about adding or subtracting anywhere you take the temp- if there is a fever and you are calling the pedi to describe symptoms, just tell them what the temp was and where you took it. Let them do the math.