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.