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Are ear thermometers accurate?
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Jak29 · 05/07/2020 09:05

Posting here fore traffic. Have owned a braun ear thermometer for a few years for dc.

DS’s temperature is always around 37-37.5 sometimes a little higher. I’ve been checking their temps since March and this is always the case for him. Can it be normal to have a naturally slightly higher body temperature? I know he hasn’t actually got a fever because this has been the case for weeks and months. Never known it to be under 37. I would say average is 37.3-37.4.

Many places are saying they are checking temperatures on arrival and anything over 37.5 you won’t be allowed in (a local tourist attraction).

It’s made me wonder if ear thermometers are accurate? He had to visit the hospital recently. They used a forehead thermometer on entry and no problems whatsoever and said his temperature was fine.

Advice?

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tanstaafl · 05/07/2020 09:19

You really need to do a forehead test on DS to compare against the ear thermometer.

I guess the question is whether body temp measured in ear is slightly higher than elsewhere?

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Jak29 · 05/07/2020 09:22

Thank you. I am tempted to purchase a forehead thermometer! Quite a lot of money to spend when we do already have a device though. I just find the ear thermometer can vary wildly in a short amount of time!

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CottonSock · 05/07/2020 09:23

My ear one is. Have you changed batteries, might help.

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Lonecatwithkitten · 05/07/2020 09:27

Up to and including 37.5 is totally normal, above 37.6 is a fever in children. This is slight different to adults whose normal temperature is up to and including 37.2.
You could consider collecting easily available evidence to challenge the venue that for children they need to slightly change their range.

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ittakes2 · 05/07/2020 09:39

You need to put in new batteries.

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AnnaMagnani · 05/07/2020 09:40

Up to 37.4 is a normal temperature.

I have my temp checked more than daily for work and in the hot weather we had a week ago came up higher after walking across a hot car park. I just ran my wrists under the cold tap and splashed some water over my face - checked again and it was fine.

If you are absolutely certain he doesn't have a fever, because obvs then you should not be going to a tourist attraction, you could try that.

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AnnaMagnani · 05/07/2020 09:45

Oh the forehead ones can vary a lot in a short amount of time too! When I got mine, DH and I went mad checking each others temps, the fridge, the cat, anything that moved Blush Grin

And after months of having mine done at work some of mine have been 'Go home Anna you are clinically dead' Shock

sadly I never did get sent home from work

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danni0509 · 05/07/2020 09:49

The dentist did a forehead temp check of me last week pointed it at my head like a gun and pressed a button, my temperature was 28.4 GrinGrin

My braun ear thermoscan has always been v accurate.

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RufustheRowlingReindeer · 05/07/2020 09:52

My dad would text me his temperature every day in the first few weeks of lockdown

I had to tell him eventually that he was dead 😩

Ds1 had a forehead one done when he Went back To college, he asked me was 32.4 good...no it isnt baby

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RufustheRowlingReindeer · 05/07/2020 09:53

Oh posted to soon

The ear one we have gives us temperatures at a healthy level 😀

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TORDEVAN · 05/07/2020 09:57

Ear ones are a good indication but not fully accurate in certain ages of children, how old is your DS?

My brain thermoscan ear one has been pretty accurate (hospital always gets similar under the arm vs what my ear one has said - my DD gets a lot of UTIs)

I’ve been told under arm is most accurate for young children due to the size of their ear and getting the ear one in far enough and pointing at the right place

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janesmith99 · 05/07/2020 09:59

I've taken DDs temperature loads of times over the last year since she's been at nursery (she seems to get every bug going!) and her normal temperature is about 37.2/37.3. It absolutely never drops below 37 unless she's asleep. 37.5 wouldn't be unusual at all for her, 37.7 and above is when I know she's got a bug or something. Coincidentally, mine is very rarely below 37, whereas DH is usually between 36 and 36.5.

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roses2 · 05/07/2020 10:00

Any chance the thermometer isn't correct? Have you always used the same one in the past few years? My son's nursery have a policy that over 37.5 is a fever and kids are sent home (same policy pre covid) so that temp would worry me!

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Chochito · 05/07/2020 10:02

In France we add 0.5°C to an ear or armpit reading to get the "true" temperature.

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Spied · 05/07/2020 10:04

DS was feeling poorly and felt a little hot.
I took his temp with my Braun 7 ear thermometer and it read 39°.
Took him to hospital and he was 37.2°.
Recently spent another £60 on a forehead thermometer that reads 36° when the Braun ear reads 37.5°.
I really give up!

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IgglePiggleNotInBed · 05/07/2020 10:05

In ear thermometers are one of the most accurate as it's measuring core temp. Forehead monitors are basically measuring the temp of your skin and are very inaccurate. I went to the dentist last week and was sat in a hot car for 5 mins before I went in and my forehead temp was over 38, luckily the dentist had some sense and we waited in the shade for a few mins and it measured a normal temp. Does it need calibrating or new batteries? Are you changing the caps regularly?

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Popc0rn · 05/07/2020 10:12

We use braun ear thermometers in the hospital.

The forehead ones are meant to be pretty unreliable (and expensive!).

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makingmiracles · 05/07/2020 10:13

I find them pretty accurate, also have a Braun one. Activities before using one will influence though- I was stuck in traffic several times on the way to work a month ago, I was in the car 50mins and the temp that day was 29deg, when I got to work my temp read as 38.4, I sat in front of a fan, drinking ice cold water with my feet up for half an hour and when I retook it, it was 37.2!

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Jak29 · 05/07/2020 10:30

Thanks all. Batteries don’t need replacing. Recently had brand new energizers in, clean caps etc but the readings are all over the place

I am pretty certain he does not have a fever! His body temperature seems to be naturally higher!

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FishOnPillows · 05/07/2020 10:47

Honestly I could never work out how to use ear thermometers effectively, either on my kids or on myself (I do have very small ears though, I have to use kids’ ear plugs). However strictly I followed the instructions, the temperatures were all over the place, usually too cold though.

I eventually gave up and just bought an oral thermometer. It takes a bit longer to get a temperature, but seems very reliable. I’ve read varying things about them though - some say add 0.5 a degree. But really you just need to know if your temp is higher than normal for you.

But from this, my normal temp is around 36.2-36.5, my kids’ is 36.4- 36.7, and my partner’s is somehow 35.6-35.9. We spent a few weeks in March taking temperatures at varying points in the day so we had an idea of our usual, so we would know if anyone’s temperature was high 😅

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Jak29 · 05/07/2020 16:24

Thanks all. He is nearly 10 and has always seemed to have a higher than average temperature.

We aren’t planning on going to said tourist attraction for a while (not ready for that yet) but was reading how they are checking temperatures for each visitor and anything over 37.5 would be a no... which obviously I totally get but DS really does have a naturally higher temperature.

My sons can vary (or more likely the thermometer). It’s a few years old. Regularly change the caps, had new batteries but it’s always seemed to vary wildly. It doesn’t help that he has asd and wiggles a lot whilst doing it!! He never appears to be hot or sweaty just seems to have a higher Internal temperature!

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IgglePiggleNotInBed · 05/07/2020 21:08

Are you pulling the ear slightly when doing it? The ear canal is bent so you need to straighten it to get an accurate temp. I don't know how to explain it so maybe have a Google and you will see what I mean x

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Mulledmead · 05/07/2020 21:28

For what it's worth I think my daughter runs quite warm at the upper end of normal. One ear always reads warmer than the other too (which I presume is her anatomy).
I trained as a paeds nurse and remember doing an essay which included best practice in monitoring temperature. I seem to recall there were NICE guidelines that said the infrared thermometers were not particularly reliable. A recent trip to hospital with my dd showed both infrared and tympanic thermometers in use, so perhaps the guidelines have changed (I am not clinical anymore, so am not sure).

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