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Measuring fever


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#1 Riotproof

Posted 14 February 2020 - 06:30 AM

Do you rely blindly on the number on the thermometer or do you trust the hand to head test?

#2 Caitlin Happymeal

Posted 14 February 2020 - 06:36 AM

The number on the thermometer is a much better indicator, assuming it's in working order. If I were to use the back of my hand, one of my daughters, who is a hot bod, would be febrile most of the time.

A thermometer gives a much better indication of core temp, rather than just the surface of the skins temp, as that can fluctuate and be different to what's going on underneath. And, might I add, in clinical practice, there's been many a patient who doesn't feel hot to the touch, but is running a horrendous fever. It's possible to be cool externally but very much febrile internally.

#3 Riotproof

Posted 14 February 2020 - 06:43 AM

Hmm, my kids aren’t usually warm on waking but they were today.

#4 kimasa

Posted 14 February 2020 - 06:44 AM

The thermometer.

The "hand on head" is kind of dodgy. Wrap yourself up in a blanket of drink a cup of hot tea and your skin temp on your face is going to be very warm.

#5 Riotproof

Posted 14 February 2020 - 06:48 AM

Dd is adamant that the thermometer is fibbing. Of course I put her to bed at 6.40 and she was still awake an hour later.

#6 zenkitty

Posted 14 February 2020 - 06:50 AM

The thermometer. That’s what they’re for. It was warm in Melbourne overnight and I woke up a bit hot and sweaty, but I certainly don’t have a fever.

#7 lizzzard

Posted 14 February 2020 - 07:37 AM

Lol that’s a bit like asking whether the scales or the mirror is a more accurate method of determining weight 😋

#8 rosie28

Posted 14 February 2020 - 07:52 AM

View Postlizzzard, on 14 February 2020 - 07:37 AM, said:

Lol that’s a bit like asking whether the scales or the mirror is a more accurate method of determining weight

I thought the exact same thing! Yes, I trust the thermometer, that’s the tool for the job. That said, I can tell if my kids have a fever by kissing their foreheads or feeling their foreheads- I certainly cannot tell what their temperature is with any specificity.

#9 Lunafreya

Posted 14 February 2020 - 08:04 AM

I trust the thermometer but I do two measurements to confirm.

#10 born.a.girl

Posted 14 February 2020 - 08:18 AM

I've wondered what those forehead thermometers that they're using around the world to test for fever show during a hot flush.


Or do they not just take the forehead temp?

#11 Cherubs

Posted 14 February 2020 - 08:19 AM

My kids are teenagers they still ask me to feel their heads if they don’t feel well, but I always got the thermometer out to confirm. Although my kids take after me, we rarely get sick but when we do the temps are 40 deg and hot from head to toe.

#12 Riotproof

Posted 14 February 2020 - 08:26 AM

View Postlizzzard, on 14 February 2020 - 07:37 AM, said:

Lol that’s a bit like asking whether the scales or the mirror is a more accurate method of determining weight 😋

Hahaha. I know.   I was just wondering. My mother never even owned a thermometer. She just knew.

They went to school.

Bag, apparently the forehead thermometers are not overly reliable. And expensive.

Edited by Riotproof, 14 February 2020 - 08:27 AM.


#13 seayork2002

Posted 14 February 2020 - 08:27 AM

If DS just says he just feels hot then I do the back of the hand thing

If I think he is really ill a thermometer

#14 Sentient Puddle

Posted 14 February 2020 - 08:30 AM

View Postborn.a.girl, on 14 February 2020 - 08:18 AM, said:

I've wondered what those forehead thermometers that they're using around the world to test for fever show during a hot flush.


Or do they not just take the forehead temp?
LOL - me too!  I would be quarantined in no time flat!

#15 amdirel

Posted 14 February 2020 - 08:34 AM

Definitely thermometer!

The tympanic ones are the best IMO. Forehead ones are too inaccurate. We have one forehead one at work and no one likes using it. You can take a temp at the same time on a forehead one and a tympanic one and 100% of the time they're very different. Generally the forehead one shows a much lower temp, in my experience.

#16 22Fruitmincepies

Posted 14 February 2020 - 09:50 AM

Don’t use your hand, use your lips, they are much more temperature sensitive. A kiss in the middle of the forehead is an excellent rough guide (advice from a paediatrician in a social setting). If that is hot (or clammy and cold) I then take their temperature, so far the kiss method has always proven correct in determining fever or no fever (as I some double check with the thermometer even when they don’t feel hot to the kiss).

#17 22Fruitmincepies

Posted 14 February 2020 - 09:57 AM

On another note, I was buying a new thermometer recently, and the chemist was recommending an oral one (I seem to recall that they are more accurate, if used correctly), he said “it only takes 8 seconds to read, great for wriggly children!” And I thought he does not have any idea how long 8 seconds is with a wriggly child! It would be impossible, so I bought an ear one.

#18 Riotproof

Posted 14 February 2020 - 09:57 AM

Saving that idea, thanks.

I do hope they aren’t sick. Ds has a birthday event on Sunday.

#19 spr_maiden

Posted 14 February 2020 - 10:06 AM

Kiss on the forehead followed by thermometer. My children's eyes give it away too - if they are glassy or red-eyed, 9/10 they have a fever.

#20 Lou-bags

Posted 14 February 2020 - 10:13 AM

I don’t have a thermometer. I use the kiss on the forehead and feel the chest and neck ‘method’. Like 22fmp I have found it to be reliable (from when I did have a thermometer- never replaced it after it broke years ago).

My kids get slightly raised breathing rate when feverish too, and have a hard time settling off to sleep typically.

#21 Hands Up

Posted 14 February 2020 - 10:19 AM

DS runs hot so feeling forehead or neck does nothing. Saying that, his behaviour gives the game away most of the time and then I check temp to confirm.

#22 born.a.girl

Posted 14 February 2020 - 10:37 AM

View PostSentient Puddle, on 14 February 2020 - 08:30 AM, said:

LOL - me too!  I would be quarantined in no time flat!

That's what I'm wondering about - we can't be the only ones.

During a hot flush my forehead is burning.  I have heard talk that soon after one, a severe one anyway where you're really hot, that your temperature is down because you are losing heat unnaturally.

So I'm sure anything other than a forehead one would be fine, but they (logically) are the hands-off ones they're using for mass screenings.

We've got eight international legs in the coming months.

#23 Lucrezia Bauble

Posted 14 February 2020 - 12:10 PM

i don’t trust the forehead touch test - i’ve both detected a fever where there was none and missed a fever where there was one via the hand test - so i use a thermometer.


#24 wilding

Posted 14 February 2020 - 12:18 PM

I use the thermometer and do 3 readings (something I learn in thermometer training), same with at work.

#25 Ivy Ivy

Posted 14 February 2020 - 12:18 PM

I recall a study (20+ y ago) which I think concluded the sensitivity of a thermometer (e.g. in ear/under tongue/under armpit) picking up a fever was 80%, and a mother putting a hand to her child's forehead also had an 80% sensitivity.  (Internal thermometers are more sensitive.)

In my mind a thermometer simply gives you an actual number, e.g. fever of 38 well I'll watch that, but fever of 40 is serious stuff.  That 2 degree difference is what hand to forehead warmth doesn't specify.




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