Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

Overview Evaluation taking temperatures Treatment Home Care medications warning signs Underlying Cause Types

Newborn Fever Taking Temperatures

The temperature should not be measured for at least 20-30 minutes after eating or drinking. You should also wait at least 30 minutes to check the temperature after the infant has had a bath.

Rectal temperatures are the most accurate, and should be the only method used to check temperatures in a newborn or infant. A well lubricated rectal thermometer should be inserted gently into the rectum no more than 1/2 to 1 inch. It should be left for 1 minute, after which time it can be read. Digital thermometers can obtain a reliable reading in a few seconds.

Mothers should not be concerned: rectal temperatures are very safe and are not harmful. Do not use oral thermometers to measure a rectal temperature. Rectal temperatures tend to run about 1 degree F. above oral temperatures. A rectal temperature above 100.4 degrees F. (38 C) represent a fever.

Continue to Newborn Fever Treatment

Last Updated: Mar 17, 2009 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Newborn Fever References
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  2. McCarthy P. Fever without apparent source on clinical examination. Curr Opin Pediatr. 2005 Feb;17(1):93-110. [15659971]
  3. Miller LC, Sisson BA, Tucker LB, Schaller JG. Prolonged fevers of unknown origin in children: patterns of presentation and outcome. J Pediatr. 1996 Sep;129(3):419-23. [8804332]
  4. Perrone J, Hollander JE, Datner EM. Emergency Department evaluation of patients with fever and chemotherapy-induced neutropenia. J Emerg Med. 2004 Aug;27(2):115-9. [15261351]
  5. Russell FM, Shann F, Curtis N, Mulholland K. Evidence on the use of paracetamol in febrile children. Bull World Health Organ. 2003;81(5):367-72. [12856055]
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