Temperature Measurement in Pediatrics: A Comparison of the Rectal Method Versus the Temporal Artery Method

J Pediatr Nurs. 2012 Jun;27(3):243-7. doi: 10.1016/j.pedn.2010.12.015. Epub 2011 Feb 24.


The purpose of this study was to determine if there is a difference between temperature readings obtained using two different electronic temperature devices: one measuring temporal artery temperature (TAT) and one measuring rectal temperature (RT). A comparative single-group design was used with each participant acting as his or her control. The sample consisted of 47 pediatric patients between 3 and 36 months of age. Data analysis revealed no statistically significant differences between TAT and RT; however, concerns related to statistical significance versus clinical significance are discussed.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Body Temperature*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Fever / diagnosis
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Rectum / physiology*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Temporal Arteries / physiology*
  • Thermography / instrumentation*