Do You Add a Degree to Underarm Temp?

Updated on October 18, 2008
A.B. asks from Muskogee, OK
22 answers

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.

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K.S.

answers from New Orleans on

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.

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S.M.

answers from Monroe on

A.,

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

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.

1 mom found this helpful

A.W.

answers from Baton Rouge on

Yes, under the arm (also called "axillary temp"), you add 1 degree. Rectal, you subtract 1 degree.

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J.S.

answers from Little Rock on

yes, it's actually 0.9 that you add, but might as well say a degree to keep in easy.

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S.M.

answers from Monroe on

A.,

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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J.J.

answers from Little Rock on

You add a degree for under the arm, subtract a degree for rectal, and for the ear the temperature stays the same.

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M.M.

answers from Oklahoma City on

Yes -- but only a bachelor's. :oD

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A.J.

answers from Baton Rouge on

i am a caregiver for my wife. Your question is quite interesting. My wife is on oxygen and it puts out quite a bit of heat. In fact four to six degrees in our bedroom. She has been having a slight temp for some time.

All professionals say plus 1 under the arm, minus 1 rectal.

Gustav made us end up in the hospital for two days. At the hospital she was not running a temp. Then one felt her head, took her temp under the arm and came up with 99.1 I ask the nurse to take her temp. She did by mouth and came up with 97, then under her arm and came up with 99.3. I asked her to check her mouth again and again she came up with 97.

God Bless

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A.W.

answers from Fort Smith on

Hi, A.. My name is A. too. I've been working in health care for 10 years and, yes, you do add a degree for underarm temps. The most accurate temp is a rectal temp. Hope this helps. And, I also read a response that said to subtract a degree for a rectal and that is not true...that is the most accurate!

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T.S.

answers from Mobile on

Yes, you do add a degree to an underarm temp. The underarm temp., which is measuring the temp. of skin is not going to be as high as the core temp.(if it were done rectally). adding a degree makes it closer to core temp.

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B.S.

answers from Hattiesburg on

Yes underarm temp is one degree lower and rectal temp is one degree higher than oral temperatures.
B. S, RN CCM

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W.B.

answers from Tulsa on

yes, i believe you do. you can look it up online though, just do a search for infant fever or something. i bet the babycenter website has it too.

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J.F.

answers from Tulsa on

Yes, You do add a degree under the arm.
example)99.9 would be 100.9

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A.S.

answers from Tulsa on

When you take your childs axillary temp (under the arm) you add a degree. When you are talking to the nurse or doctor you tell them the exact temp and let them know where you took it. If you add the degree and then tell them that you took it under the arm, they will sometimes add another degree giving them a false temp and making it more difficult for them to make a decision regarding your childs care.

So yes with an under arm temp you add a degree.

A.

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K.S.

answers from New Orleans on

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.

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K.F.

answers from Huntsville on

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.

S.W.

answers from Fort Smith on

Hi

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

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H.C.

answers from Alexandria on

Yes you have to add a degree under the arm....i learned this working in daycare....

S.S.

answers from Lawton on

Underarm isn't really accurate enough for a three month old. You should take her temperature anally.

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M.K.

answers from Monroe on

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.
M.

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H.L.

answers from Birmingham on

I've always heard that you do.

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R.U.

answers from Oklahoma City on

With my preemie that had me checking his temp under the arm every few hours and I did not have to add a degree or anything.

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L.J.

answers from Birmingham on

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.

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