Objective: To compare axillary with rectal temperature in infants and children up to 6 years of age and with oral temperature in children from 6 to 12 years of age.
Methodology: It was a cross sectional comparative study conducted at Children’s hospital, Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences, Islamabad, Pakistan and included 1024 children from 1 month to 12 years of age and were divided into two groups. Group 1 included children from one month to six years of age and group 2 included children from 6 to 12 years of age. Axillary temperature was compared with rectal temperature in group one and with oral temperature in group 2. Temperature was recorded with ordinary mercury thermometer in axilla for 5 minutes, in rectum for 3 minutes and in oral cavity for 4 minutes. Room temperature was also noted at the same time.
Results: The mean difference between rectal and axillary temperature in children included in group 1 was 0.7oC (0.23) (pâ‰¤0.05). The mean difference between axilla and oral cavity in children included in group 2 was 0.68oC (0.23) (pâ‰¤0.05). A positive correlation was observed between rectal and axillary temperature and between rectal and oral temperature in children.
Conclusion: Axillary temperature can be an effective alternate to rectal or oral temperature measurement in children, as it accurately reflects rectal and oral temperature. It is convenient and safe to measure and correlates well with rectal and oral temperature measurement in children of different ages.
Axillary temperature, rectal temperature, oral temperature, fever.