Tuesday, July 17, 2007

And here's number five

I have one last product to add to my list of things I’m glad I own. I only bought it last night, but it’s already brought me peace of mind.

I’ll start with some back story. When I picked Kaylee up from day care yesterday, her daily sheet said she’d had a temperature of 99.1 during the afternoon. Her head felt warm to me, so I decided to take her temperature when I got home. I’d never done it before, because she’s never seemed hot before, so it never crossed my mind that the digital thermometer I’d received as part of a baby-care kit would be so, so frustrating.

I held the thermometer in her armpit and pinned her arm to her side for a good ten minutes before I realized the thermometer had turned itself off without ever beeping to indicate it was finished. The last time I’d looked at it, it read 99.1.

Because the internet knows everything, I decided to consult it regarding baby temperatures, and of course learned that underarm temperatures are the least accurate way of checking for a fever – and that it could give a reading that’s one to three degrees too low. That led to a new-mom panic, where I worried that her temperature could be as high as 102.1, which would mean she was officially sick. Or it could be 99.1, like the thermometer said, and there was no real reason to worry. So then I spent a good 20 minutes worrying about whether or not I should be worried.

The internet also taught me that taking a baby’s temperature rectally is the most accurate method. In the same paragraph, I read that you have to be super careful, because otherwise you could accidentally perforate the baby’s rectum. Um… That pretty much ensures that I will NEVER take her temperature that way. (And this paragraph pretty much ensures that Kaylee will hate me when she’s a teenager. “MOM! I can’t believe you talked about my rectum on your blog!”)

When Rob got home, he talked me down from my little panic and suggested we look into a good ear thermometer. I’d heard those could be pretty hit and miss, so I checked into product ratings and settled on this one – the only digital ear thermometer I found with consistently high ratings from people who own it. We promptly went to the store and bought it, and discovered the joy of taking a temperature in less than five seconds. Yeah, it’s an expensive thermometer, but if it’ll keep me from freaking out every time Kaylee’s head gets warm, it’s worth $50 to me. That I can answer the “to worry or not to worry” question within a few seconds is an added bonus.

Oh, and by the time we’d assembled the SUV stroller, made our way to the store, bought the thermometer and returned home, Kaylee was perfectly fine. No fever, and therefore no more mommy panic.


Rob said...

You left out the part about testing out the new thermometer on every person in the house. Did you try it on the dogs?

Heather McDonnell said...

No, but I seriously thought about it. I probably will tonight.

pam said...

Ah, the internet ... such a great source of comfort and panic for us all.

Heather McDonnell said...

Yes. I recommend using it with caution.