Friday, April 3, 2009

Ear Thermometers - Good To Know!

Summary: Ear Thermometers don't register correctly over 102/103 degrees.

Katie's been sick, and at bedtime her temp went up to 104. We gave her a bath, continued the Tylenol, and she went to bed. at Midnight, it was still high, but then at 4 AM it registered at 105.7! I immediately took my own temperature to check the thermometer, and it was correct: 97.7. Another bath for Katie, plus more medicine, but it wasn't going down.

We called 338-kids and talked to a nurse. After a long conversation, he recommended the ER. She also had stomach pain and a cough. Thinking it might be RSV or Pneumonia, Lee took her into the ER. (Take no chances with high fevers and teeny babies in the house!)

At the ER, her temp was 102.8. A quick change in only 15 minutes. As it turns out, the doctor explained that ear thermometers don't register accurately above 102 or 103 degrees, and they get a lot of scared parents, thinking their child might have brain damage or serious issues. And that is also why we can take our own temp and think it's working.

After a chest X-ray and throat swab, she was thankfully sent home with just a virus...

Which I would have KNOWN had I used a standard thermometer. I never would have taken her in with just a 102 fever. She gets that a few times a year. But 105? That's just scary.

So, from now on, if it registers over 102, I'll pull out the good old under the tongue thermometer that takes an entire 60 seconds to read.

I thought this was very valuable information and wanted to pass it on! Before freaking out about an insanely high temp, try taking it the good old fashioned way first.


Jack III said...

Under the tongue old fashioned...come on! You gotta go rectal to really get a good reading :)

Becky said...

Ewwww, Jack! :) I've never done that on a kid... usually go under armpit to get the general idea when they're little... I'm a wimp!

Jenna said...

So then I assume the baby has finally made his/her arrival??

Anonymous said...

Glad Katie is okay! No comment on the rectal...but good info about the ear thermometers!