Accuracy of Pacifier Thermometers in Young Children

Carie A. Braun, PhD, RN


Pediatr Nurs. 2006;32(5):413-418. 

In This Article

Application to Nursing Practice

Parents and other child caregivers rely on the expertise of nurses to provide evidence-based pediatric care and to consult on basic care issues. Synthesis and utilization of empirical research is an important aspect of evidence-based care. Temperature measurement is arguably one of the most common assessments within nursing practice and provides a critical tool in detecting fever in children. Interventions are frequently based on temperature assessments, as fever may indicate inflammatory or infectious processes. Temperature also provides information on the effectiveness of anti-pyretic medications. Instruments used to measure temperature must be thoroughly evaluated for accuracy.

Pacifier thermometers are one accessible method for approximating core body temperature in the home. These data support the accuracy of this supralingual temperature measure. Educating parents on the use of pacifier thermometers must include three critical components: (1) a consistent measure (site and instrument) is important for observing temperature changes over time, (2) a mathematical adjustment may be required to calculate a rectal temperature equivalent and any adjustments made must be reported along with the result, and (3) parent or caregiver reports of elevations in temperature must remain within the context of other critical assessments, including but not limited to child behavior, general appearance, eating patterns, fluid intake, and elimination patterns. Only within the context of the holistic assessment, can the highest quality of care be achieved.

CE Information

The print version of this journal was originally certified for CE Credit, for accreditation details, please contact the publisher, Anthony J. Jannetti, Inc.


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