(HealthDay News) -- If you're taking your temperature, you should take steps to ensure that you're getting an accurate reading.
The U.S. National Library of Medicine offers these guidelines:
- If using a thermometer by mouth, put it directly under the tongue and keep your mouth closed, holding the thermometer in place with your lips. Keep it in about three minutes if it's a glass thermometer, or until a digital thermometer beeps.
- If measuring temperature underneath the arm, place the thermometer under the armpit, and hold your arm against your body for five minutes. This is not the best method for a glass thermometer.
- If measuring a baby's temperature by rectum, place the baby on the stomach, and insert the thermometer with a small amount of petroleum jelly. Keep the child still, and remove the thermometer after about 3 minutes (or until it beeps).
- Don't take your temperature within an hour of taking a bath or shower, or exercising strenuously.
- If you've just had something to eat or drink, wait at least 20 minutes before taking your temperature.
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