Temperature Recording Sites in Infants, Children, and Adults


A Allami 1 , N Mohammadi 2 , * , R Shahrokhi 3

1 Department of Infectious Disease and Tropical Medicine, Qazvin University of Medical Sciences, Iran

2 Department of Community Medicine, Iran University of Medical Sciences, [email protected], Tehran, Iran

3 General Practitioner, Iran

How to Cite: Allami A, Mohammadi N, Shahrokhi R. Temperature Recording Sites in Infants, Children, and Adults, Iran Red Crescent Med J. Online ahead of Print ; 12(4):413-418.


Iranian Red Crescent Medical Journal: 12 (4); 413-418
Article Type: Research Article
Received: October 10, 2009
Accepted: March 6, 2010




Background: Axilla, mouth, and rectum are the most common sites for thermometric measurement. There is no universally accepted belief about how to predict one of them from others.


Methods: In a cross-sectional hospital-based study at two educational hospitals in Qazvin Province, mercury in glass thermometers were used and then calibrated with digital thermometer within ±0.1 0C. The axillary temperature was compared with oral or rectal ones in 50 infants, 100 children, and 100 adults.


Results: The mean difference between axillary and rectal temperature in infants was 0.366 0C (± 0.21), while those between oral and axilary in children and adults were 0.667 0C (±0.37) and 0.4940C (±0.3), respectively. Among infants, 98% of the oral and rectal readings were stabilized at 5 and 3 minutes, respectively. In children, 98% of the oral readings were stabilized at five but for axilla, 99% by 6 minutes. For adults, 95% of the oral readings were stabilized at 5 minutes while for axilla, it was 96% by 6 minutes.


Conclusion: In less than 3 month old infants, axillary temperature accurately reflects the rectal temperature. Axillary and rectal thermometry in infants should be read after 5 and 3 minutes, while oral temperature in children and adults should be read after 6 and 5 minutes, respectively


Axilla Body Temperature Fever Mouth Rectum

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