- Step 1: Read thermometer's instructions Read the thermometer's instructions and note any special characteristics.
- Step 2: Check ear for wax Look in the ear that you're planning to check—if there is too much wax in it, it won't be able to get a good reading, and you'll need to try the other ear or use an oral thermometer instead.
- TIP: If you suspect a fever is caused by an ear infection, do not attempt to use an ear thermometer.
- Step 3: Wipe tip of probe Wipe the tip of the probe with a clean cloth or paper towel, and slip on a disposable probe cover.
- Step 4: Pull ear up and back Pull the ear up and back to help position the probe.
- TIP: For babies under 12 months, pull the earlobe down and back to help position the probe.
- Step 5: Insert thermometer Insert the thermometer, gently wiggling it into the ear canal. Be careful not to force it or push it in too far.
- TIP: Most ear thermometers can be used in the armpit, but it's usually harder to get an accurate reading.
- Step 6: Turn thermometer on Press the button to turn the thermometer on.
- Step 7: Remove thermometer Remove the thermometer when you hear the beep, which should be within a few seconds.
- Step 8: Read thermometer Read the thermometer. The average normal ear temperature is 99.5 degrees Fahrenheit—if the reading is less than 95 degrees Fahrenheit or more than 103, seek medical assistance.
- Step 9: Throw away probe cover Remove the probe cover and throw it away.
- FACT: The hypothalamus, a tiny cone-shaped structure at the base of the brain, is responsible for regulating the body's temperature.
You Will Need
- An ear thermometer
- A clean cloth or paper towel
- Disposable probe covers