• FLACC Scale;
  • nursing assessment;
  • nursing care;
  • pediatric;
  • rectal temperature;
  • temporal artery temperature

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°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.