Pediatric emergency room physician Katie Noorbakhsh has never checked her own kids’ temperatures:
I have never checked my kids’ temperature because the actual number does not make much of a difference to me. I know he (or she) is sick. I know he has a fever. And on day one, two and three of illness, I know that it is most likely a virus. So if he does the other things he is supposed to do – breathe, drink, pee and throw impressive fits when I approach him with the blue nasal suction bulb – the height of his fever is not going to change much of what his pediatrician or I will do for him.
Dr. Noorbakhsh cites a study that showed mothers are extremely accurate (80%) in telling when their child has a fever without using a thermometer. A warm hand on a forehead coupled with an assessment of their behavior is enough:
It is painfully obvious when my son has a fever. My house turns into Meltdown City as he loses all abilities to cope with frustration. He feels incredibly hot. This is usually topped off with a running nose or some other lovely sign that his body has been turned into a virus breeding ground.
Read “Fever Phobia” on The PediaBlog to see which symptoms associated with fever need immediate medical attention.
Read more from Dr. Katie’s excellent blog here.