Purpose: This study aims to determine whether temporal artery (TA) thermometer readings are accurate and better tolerated than rectal readings in young children.
Design and methods: Paired rectal and TA temperature readings and Face Legs Activity Cry and Consolability (FLACC) scores were obtained.
Results: TA thermometry failed to detect rectal fever (38 degrees C or greater) in approximately 20% of paired temperature readings. FLACC scores were significantly lower after TA readings than after rectal readings.
Practice implications: This study questions TA readings as an accurate substitute for rectal thermometry.