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He Feels Warm.

What's the first thing a mother does when she suspects her child is ill? Feels his forehead. Unfortunately for mothers, studies have found they are not very accurate at detecting their children's temperature.

A new thermometer uses the same technique - checking the temperature over the temporal artery which is located on the side of the head near the temples. The question is how the accuracy of the temporal artery thermometer compares to that of the tympanic (ear) and rectal thermometers.

To answer this question, the temperature of 304 infants under one year of age was taken three different ways: with the temporal artery thermometer, a with rectal thermometer, and a with tympanic thermometer. (Oral thermometers are not recommended for use in children this age.) In addition, the level of discomfort displayed by each infant after each temperature taking was recorded by trained observers. Temporal artery thermometers aren't as accurate as rectal thermometers, but more so than the tympanic ones. As for infant discomfort, it's no surprise that the temporal artery thermometer was the best tolerated.

Although less distressing than the rectal thermometer, the temporal artery thermometer isn't as accurate. When determining an accurate temperature in an infant, nothing is as good as a rectal thermometer.

Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, 03/01

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Title Annotation:temporal artery thermometer isn't as accurate as a rectal thermometer
Publication:Pediatrics for Parents
Date:Jun 1, 2001
Previous Article:Intestinal Symptoms And Breathing Problems.
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