Issue Archive
Volume 32, Number 5
September/October 2006

Continuing Education
Accuracy of Pacifier Thermometers in Young Children
Carrie A. Braun

Nurses and families are continually searching for less invasive yet accurate methods of measuring temperature in children. Although pacifier thermometers are readily accessible to consumers, few studies report the accuracy of such instruments. This study aimed to determine the validity/reliability of one type of pacifier thermometer in approximating core body temperature using a prospective, withinsubjects design, comparing pacifier and rectal temperatures in children (n=25), ages 7 days to 24 months, in one pediatric hospitalbased setting. The mean ±SD difference between rectal and supralingual temperatures adjusted upward by 0.5°F was 0.012°F ± 0.777°F, which was not statistically significant. The 95% confidence interval (-0.309-0.333) fit within the manufacturer specifications. The correlations between the rectal and adjusted pacifier temperature was 0.772 and between 3-and 6-minute pacifier temperatures was 0.913. These data provide support to previous assertions that pacifier thermometry is an acceptable method of temperature approximation in young children.