Published: 2021-10-25

Measuring temperature in children, conveniently and accurately: a comparative study on different modalities of thermometry

Maha Lakshmi Jagatha, Preethi Tamilarasan, Kuppusamy Krishnamurthy


Background: Fever is one of the most common complaints in children in day-to-day practice. The pattern and grade of fever provide some evidence in determining the etiology of fever. Equally important is the identification and documentation of hypothermia in neonates. Hence there is need for an accurate thermometry mode, which should also be convenient to use in children.

Methods: This was a cross-sectional observation study on all the neonates and children satisfying the inclusion criteria. Infrared forehead thermometer and digital axillary thermometer were used to record temperature and compared with Infrared tympanic temperature which was taken as gold standard.

Results: A total of 240 neonates and children were evaluated. Strong positive correlation was observed between Means of Forehead Thermometer (FT) and Ear Thermometer (ET) with correlation coefficient of 0.777 and p value <0.001. Similar correlation was also observed with Axillary Temperature (AT) with correlation coefficient of 0.944 and p<0.001.

Conclusions: Non-contact Infrared thermometer may be used in neonates and children without causing discomfort. It gives instant and comparable readings which are especially significant in the current coronavirus disease (COVID) pandemic setting.


Thermometer, Temperature measurement, Infrared thermometer, Fever, Hypothermia, Thermometry

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