Health Advice



Ask the Pediatrician: Are infrared thermometers safe to use on children?

Dr. Elizabeth Murray, American Academy of Pediatrics on

Published in Health & Fitness

Call your pediatrician right away if your child:

– is 2 months old or younger with a rectal temperature of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, or if fever rises above 104°F (40°C) repeatedly at any age.

– looks very ill, is unusually drowsy, or is very fussy.

– has been in a hot place, such as an overheated car.

– has other symptoms, such as a stiff neck, severe headache, severe sore throat , severe ear pain, an unexplained rash, or repeated vomiting or diarrhea.

– has immune system problems, such as sickle cell disease or cancer, or is taking steroids.


– has had a seizure.

Even if your child’s temperature is not elevated, talk with your pediatrician if you have any questions about your child's temperature and/or whether he or she might be sick.



Dr. Elizabeth Murray is board certified in pediatrics and pediatric emergency medicine and is a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics. For more information, go to, the website for parents from the AAP.

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