Why forehead and ear readings didn’t agree?
As you may know, temperature can be taken by using the mouth, rectal, armpit, ear or forehead type thermometers . But the temperature readings vary depending on which one you use, and you need an accurate body temperature to determine if a fever is present.
There is no exact formula between temperature measurements but generally, the correlation of temperature results are as follows:
- The average normal oral temperature is around 98.6°F (37°C).
- A rectal and ear temperature is5°F (0.3°C) to1°F (0.6°C) higher than an oral temperature.
- An armpit and forehead (temporal) temperature is 5°F (0.3°C) to1°F (0.6°C) lower than an oral temperature.
It is important to remember, if you buy a dual (ear + forehead) type thermometer you can not measure same temperature value and this situation is normal.
Thermometer manufacturers provides information on how to use it. Please be sure to read and follow the instructions to obtain an accurate temperature. The information may also include how the results of the device correlate with the results from other methods of taking a temperature.
Plastic strip thermometers measure skin temperature, not body temperature but they aren’t recommended for general home use.
When you talk with your doctor about your temperature, be sure to say what method was used to take the temperature.
There is a temperature comparison table by method in below;
- Find the method that you used to take a temperature.
- Find the correct temperature range.
- Look for the temperature range of the other methods that correlates to the method you used. For example:
- If your 2-year-old child’s oral temperature is101°F (38.3°C), his or her rectal or ear temperature may be around 102°F (38.9°C). Remember, a child has a fever when his or her temperature is4°F (38°C) or higher, measured rectally.
|· Comparison of temperatures by method|
|· Axillary/Forehead· °F / (°C)||· Oral · °F / (°C)||· Rectal/Ear · °F / (°C)|
|· 98.4–99.3· (36.9–37.4)||· 99.5–99.9· (37.5–37.7)||· 100.4–101· (38–38.3)|
|· 99.4–101.1· (37.5–38.4)||· 100–101.5· (37.8–38.5)||· 101.1–102.4· (38.4–39.1)|
|· 101.2–102· (38.5–38.9)||· 101.6–102.4· (38.6–39.1)||· 102.5–103.5· (39.2–39.7)|
|· 102.1–103.1· (39–39.5)||· 102.5–103.5· (39.2–39.7)||· 103.6–104.6· (39.8–40.3)|
|· 103.2–104· (39.6–40)||· 103.6–104.6· (39.8–40.3)||· 104.7–105.6· (40.4–40.9)|