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Arch Pediatr. 2005 Aug;12(8):1292-300.

[Body temperature measurement in daily practice].

[Article in French]

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Service de pédiatrie générale, hôpital Necker-Enfants malades, 149, rue de Sèvres, 75015 Paris, France.


The use of rectal mercury thermometer has long been the standard method for measurement of body temperature. The restriction of mercury use since 1996 has led to development of other devices. The liquid crystal strip thermometer held against the forehead has a low sensitivity. The single-use chemical thermometer measures oral temperature. Its accuracy must be evaluated. Infrared ear thermometers are routinely used because it is convenient and fast to use. However, numerous studies have shown that it does not show sufficient correlation with rectal temperature, leading to the risk to miss cases of true fever. Rectal temperature remains the gold standard in case of fever. Rectal temperature measurement with an electronic device is well correlated with the glass mercury standard. Galistan thermometer accuracy must be evaluated because of sterilization of the whole device, which is not the case for the electronic thermometer. A pediatric study is necessary to evaluate the performance of this device in comparison with the electronic thermometer.

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