Use of Digital Infrared Thermometers in the Management of Fevers in Children

Management of pediatric patients with fever has been a continuous challenge to both
parents and medical providers. Fever in children is a common symptom to a
number of cases (ranging from mild to serious conditions of bacterial or viral
infections) and certain disorders.

Thus, effective recording of body temperature is a necessity to be undertaken by providers to check if the fever can be properly managed at home or needs immediate medical attention.

With the advancement of technology, digital infrared thermometers have been widely used and preferred at home and in the clinical setting as an important tool to provide accurate readings of body temperature for the management of child-patient care.

These digital thermometers use infrared rays or heat sensors to record body temperatures of children via the mouth, ear, armpit, or rectum within seconds.

Rectal digital infrared thermometers are generally preferred for infants (5 months or younger) and children (6 months to 5 years old), since they are reliable and consistent in giving off the most accurate results of the child’s body temperature.

The only disadvantage of rectal taking is the discomfort that most children experience
when the thermometer is placed in the anus. The proper way of taking the rectal
temperature is to place the child stomach down on the provider’s lap and use a
petroleum jelly on the tip of the thermometer before sliding the thermometer
gently to the opening of the anus. If the rectal temperature reading is above
100.4° F (38° C), the child has a fever.

Oral (mouth), tympanic (ear), and axillary (armpit) thermometers are preferred for
older children (5 years old and above). For oral readings, the child must not
be taking a cold or hot drink or eating in the last 30 minutes before taking
the temperature. The thermometer should also be placed under one side of the
mouth and have the child hold the thermometer with his lips and fingers
properly. The mouth must be closed to provide an accurate reading. If the oral
temperature is above 100° F (37.8° C), the child has a fever.

Tympanic digital thermometers are quick in measuring body temperatures (takes less than 2 seconds) and causes no discomfort to children. The proper position of taking
the temperature is to pull the ear back and up to straighten the auditory canal. The child has a fever if the tympanic temperature is 100.4 F° (38.0° C) or higher.

Axillary thermometers provide less accurate readings and are slower in taking body
temperatures. The armpit must be dry when taking the temperature and the probe
must be covered when the armpit is closed for 4 to 5 minutes or until the digital infrared thermometer beeps. If the armpit temperature is above 99.0° F (37.2° C), the child has a fever.

In the management of fever in children, readings that yield high temperatures are
alarming. First-aid interventions must be done at home when fever has been
identified in the first few minutes.

Constant checking of the vital status of the child is also important. Refer the child to a doctor when the: (a) child exhibits an elevation of temperature from the normal temperature values; (b) fever has been for more than a day; (c) fever has accompanying symptoms of vomiting or diarrhea; (d) fever triggers a seizure; (e) child shows signs of
dehydration (dry mouth, crying without tears, sunken soft spot); (f) child has
a rash; and (g) provider thinks the child needs medical attention. is a great source for comparing infrared thermometers.



Fever: What Nurses Should Know

Fever Education for Nurses – Part 1

Fever is a common alteration of the vital signs, and a very common complication of infectious diseases, like Ebola. Fever can also be caused by non-infectious diseases, inflammation, injury, and by drugs. Many hospitalized patients present with a fever, many patients develop a fever at some point during their hospital stay. Fever is also one of the most common signs of illness in children.

The care and treatment of patients with fever occupies a considerable amount of time for many nurses.

But despite this extensive experience with fever, there are important questions about fever that are unanswered and even healthcare professionals have misconceptions about the adverse effects of a fever and about how a fever should treated. The most recent evidence based practice should be used.

Fever Basics

A fever will not cause harm, it may be helpful, and fever reduction is not needed and may actually be harmful. However, in certain clinical situations fever reduction can be beneficial, and nurses need to know when and how fever reduction should be done. For very young children who are febrile and the elderly patient who has a fever, the evaluation process must take into account specific information about risks and signs and symptoms that are specific to those groups.

The body temperature that has traditionally been considered normal is 37C. Body temperature has a range, the range varies from individual to  individual, and body temperature varies depending on the time of day. For adults 18-40 years the mean normal body temperature is 36.8 C +/-0.4 (Note: This range of 36.8 C +/-0.4 accounts for 99 % of all adults).

Body temperature is lowest in the early morning and highest in the early evening: the normal range is considered to be 37.2 C at 6 AM and 37.9 C at 4 PM. Children normally have a body temperature that is higher than that of adults, and women who are menstruating have a greater variation in the range of body temperature than do other adults, especially in the two weeks prior to ovulation and during ovulation.

When we are measuring body temperature we are attempting to determine the core temperature. Core temperature is the temperature of the organs and structures deep within the body, and it is the temperature at which the body functions best.

Measuring Body Temperature

Body temperature can be measured invasively or non-invasively. All of these methods of measuring body temperature are consistent and accurate if they are done correctly, and all of them – even the sophisticated invasive methods – are subject to operator error.

Oral: Measuring body temperature orally is usually a reliable and accurate method of determining body temperature and it is convenient. Oral temperature readings are lower than the core temperature and there are many variables that can affect the reliability and accuracy of this method. Oral temperatures are usually lower than rectal temperatures.

Rectal: Measuring body temperature rectally is accurate and consistently reflects core temperature..

Tympanic: Tympanic thermometers measure the infra heat signature of the tympanic membrane and the ear canal, and measured values are typically lower than the rectal temperature.

Axillary: The axillary temperature is typically lower than a temperature that is measured orally or rectally.

Temperature strips: Temperature strips (TempaDot is a commonly used brand) are small plastic strips that are placed in the mouth or in the axilla and measure body temperature.

Contact infrared thermometers: Temporal artery thermometers, forehead thermometers, and other infrared contact thermometers measure heat emitted from vascular rich areas of the body.  For instance the temporal artery is highly perfused, this method of temperature method has been shown to be an accurate way of estimating core temperature, and it compares well with other methods.

Bladder temperature sensor: Temperature-sensing indwelling urinary catheters allow continuous drainage of urine and continuous measurement of body temperature. Studies support the use of urinary bladder temperature as a reliable index of core temperature during times of thermal stability. For critically ill patients who are already under considerable stress and whose condition necessitates the use of an indwelling urinary catheter, bladder temperature monitoring is a convenient and easy method that eliminates the need to use alternative sites.

Esophageal temperature probe: An esophageal temperature probe provides a core temperature assessment; however, accurate placement is necessary.

Invasive cardiovascular catheter sensor: Most often a pulmonary artery catheter. The temperature measured by a sensor in a pulmonary artery catheter is considered to most closely reflect core temperature.

Done correctly they will all consistently provide a measurement of the body temperature that accurately reflects the core temperature – within their limits. The cardiovascular catheters, the bladder temperature sensors, and the esophageal temperature probes provide the closest approximation of core temperature.

Infrared Thermometer Measurements

Infrared Radiation

The history of digital infrared thermometers begins with an understanding of what heat actually is.

Heat is just a form of energy, and exists across a spectrum.  Infrared is a lower energy part of the radiation spectrum than visible light, and ultraviolet light is at a higher energy spectrum than visible light

Radiation Spectrum

Locate the infrared part that is used in digital infra red thermometers.

See the difference between visible light and infrared radiation in this picture.

See the differences in skin temperature as shown as different colors.

See the differences in skin temperature as shown as different colors.

You don’t really see the differences in skin temperature. But you can, using an infrared camera, that translates heat into various colors that you can see. This is seen on the right hand side of the photograph.  Some areas of the skin are warmer than others, depending on how much blood is flowing in that part of the skin.

Infrared thermometers are able to quickly and easily measure body temperature from areas on the skin or in the ear canal.  The best areas to measure body temperature is over the temporal artery, on the forehead, in the ear canal, behind the ear.  The digital electronics measures the temperature within 1 -2 seconds.  And you don’t even need to contact the skin.


All About Digital Thermometers

Digital infrared thermometers provide you a safe, comfortable, and reliable way to keep track of fever in your child. You may not be up on the latest information about the effective reliability of the infrared digital thermometer. Also you may not know that this is exactly what it is called.

Various Thermometers

This sort of thermometer is really recognized by several various names. You may have come across it as an infrared thermometer or a radiant heat thermometer which is really a certain kind of infrared thermometer. These types of thermometers are made to tape exactly what is referred to as black-body radiation. That is generally the heat emitting from a particular item that you wish to measure. Frequently, these are electronic thermometers considering that it does need some relatively sophisticated technology to obtain these to operate well. You will certainly find that a quality device is a very good investment because it save you an expensive trip to the doctor.

Because you could determine the temperature of the object without having to have the tool in fact touch it directly, these are sometimes referred to as non contact thermometers. Undoubtedly, there are safety advantages to being able to gauge temperature levels from a distance.

These sorts of thermometers are usually utilized for research objectives to assist discover the temperature level of things that we do not want to come in direct contact with. Nevertheless, do not think that they are just for scientific or engineering functions because we also utilize an infrared digital thermometer for home use.

There are a great deal of Digital Thermometer models available that you could choose from nowadays, as well. No matter what your goal or use is, it is quite easy to locate one that will end up working out well for you.

Accuracy Questions? Click here.

When you are searching for this kind of device, it is a good idea to inspect on the internet sources since this is the simplest way to be able to discover exactly what you desire at a good price. You can find many sources conveniently and obtain what you want shipped to you. That is making it more convenient for everyone nowadays to discover a whole lot much better thermometers than ever.

Thermometers on Amazon