This video for Fever snkfyeienf
Scout, one of several new temperature trackers, is right: When your kid is sick, you do feel bad. But the idea that “dragging things across their forehead” — i.e., using a non-invasive, swipe the forehead thermometer — is insanely cruel, and that doing this at night can feel like “torture,” well, there’s your definition of a First World Problem.
But beyond my personal gripe with exaggerating inconvenience is a deeper issue: The notion that we should continually monitor our peaked children’s temperatures is just another sign that at some point in the near future, we will be exhorted to monitor our kids for everything, all the time: Their whereabouts (via GPS), their in-class behavior (via EdLine and such), their texts and downloads (via a panoply of computer software), what they ate for lunch (an online service offered at some schools) and, now, their vital statistics.
The implications are twofold: First, that parents will be expected to devote themselves to tracking their kids the way Seal Team Six tracked Osama.
And Second, that children will come to understand that everything they do carries such a threat of calamity — illness, abduction, a B-minus — that their parents simply MUST supervise their every outing, ice cream, pop quiz, cold symptom and key stroke.
Free-Range Kids fights for the rights of kids to some unsupervised time, and the rights of parents to give it to them. One way to fight is to resist the offer of absolute knowledge being proffered by the tech world, not unlike the serpent offering the same thing to Eve. – L
I agree with any resistance to require monitoring from parents, but I have to say that this looks pretty cool to me (no pun intended).
Technology isn’t always bad and it seems like this makes it easier on parents than getting up to do any of the other methods.
I have no idea if this product works or if Drs/Pediatricians would endorse its use over other methods, but it seems like a nice way to know what’s up.
I would imagine it’s very nice (again if it’s reliable) for parents of kids with serious or chronic illnesses too.
I mean, people use the Nest thermostat controls from their phones too. I set my DVR from my phone if I’ve already gone to bed and don’t feel like getting up to walk back into the living room (why would I?).
Cool device for tech geeks, I suppose, but wow; the larger implications frighten me as well. Unfortunately, the ever-expanding, ever-diversifying, ever-promoted inclination to monitor our children 24/7 is a big market, and is driving innovation in a predictable direction. The only thing that stops a great market is the decline of demand, and I don’t see today’s parenting culture producing that any time soon. It will march on until minds change, and that’s where we come in. Stay strong, stay vocal, and don’t let the 24/7 thinking go unchallenged. Also…I love the reference to SEAL Team Six; they certainly know how to address a threat. 🙂 Hoo-ya!
I twice visited a Ukrainian “orphanage” (most prisons are nicer) in the last year. If only the people who create these devices would give one ounce of that energy and passion to finding homes for these abused kids or creating a culture that respects all life!
I just find it so easy to touch my children’s or husband’s faces with my hand and I can tell right away if they’re warmer than normal, so I don’t need a thermometer. Also, having them sleep with me when they were young, for as long as they wanted to, eliminated the need for getting up in the middle of the night to go check on them during their most vulnerable time of life.
Personally speaking, this looks like a terrible thing. Having continual access to my kid’s temperature without having to put either of us through even the tiniest inconvenience would make me worry and obsess all day and night — *when I otherwise wouldn’t.* Knowing I don’t have to think about my kid’s temperature unless he seems noticeably worse, or some time has passed to make it reasonable to check it again, helps me go about my day thinking about other useful things. Knowing that I could just pick up my phone and look at it at any second, would make me obsess about something I’d normally be able to put out of my mind. It’s like the way I threw out the baby monitor with my first kid because when it was on, I’d lie there all night listening to it, and when I didn’t have it, I’d just go to sleep because my rational self knew that the kid would almost certainly be fine.
That’s just how I am, but I’m sure I’m not alone. I can’t think of any actual benefit to this (subjecting your child to the “distress” of a swipe across the forehead and taking 30 seconds to pick the ouchy toys up off the floor seem simpler) and several drawbacks.
Also, like That_Susan, the hand method always worked for me as an initial diagnosis of whether they were feverish or not. Then a thermometer could be used to get an actual reading. I don’t really see the point of continual taking the temperature of a child who’s sleeping through the night , whether “by hand” or with this gizmo — any child who is not obviously seriously ill is better off sleeping, and a really high fever will interfere with sleep. My home is not a hospital so I don’t have any dangerously ill patients who need to be constantly monitored.
I used to have febrile convulsions as a kid, but I still don’t see my parents ever wanting something like this. Of course, their solution was for whoever discovered me seizing to call out “Run a cold bath, she’s convulsing again!” and then they’d drop me in the icy tub it until I stopped.
@pentamom — why would this be any different than using periodic temp checks? If you checked your kids temp X times a day manually, why would you not just look at the app X times a day instead?
Interesting how it’s a wholly negative response thus far. I know my sister would have made use of something when dealing with her chronically ill child when infection (and thus temp) was an important indicator.
The only child this would actually be good for is one prone to febrile seizures. When my kids are sick I don’t check on them all night long, I let them sleep, it is often the best way to handle a fever. The body can heal itself when ill and sleeping helps it do just that.
I swear I just read an article about how being able to check on things whenever and wherever actually makes us more stressed and anxious. I’m pretty sure this would fall into that category.
Also, they were totally using the forehead thermometer wrong. Not as bad as the people who can’t use simple devices in infomercials, but similar vein. And how hard is it to have your kids clean up their rooms before bed? Not saying every Lego well be found, but traversing your kids’ room at night need not be so hazardous.
Why do they compare it to swiping across a forehead when they can compare it to a rectal thermometer? That would make it seem worth the sixty bucks.
But yes, the danger is, when something is widely available and used, it starts to be seen as a requirement. It happened with electricity and seatbelts.
E, it may not be rational, but it’s human nature at least for me. It’s easier to pick up a phone that can instantly display something, than constantly go back and actually take a temperature. Especially if the child is either resting comfortably OR obviously uncomfortable, there’s an incentive not to disturb the child for no good reason. But picking up a phone and looking at it for no good reason? I can see myself doing that.
I agree that the road toward constant monitoring of our kids, which is definitely the path society seems to be taking, is completely ridiculous and detrimental for everyone involved.
The not having to get up in the middle of the night and especially being able to set a temp alert on your phone seems really awesome and like something I’d love to have when my kids are sick.
Kind of looks cool actually. I’m not into monitoring every second, but I can see the usefulness for things. I would definitely be getting one of those if I had a child with a serious illness. But not interested for an otherwise healthy member of the family with a cold or flu.
Reminds me of the device that wirelessly tells you that your baby has wet their diaper. Uhhhhh, who needs this? Can you not see/feel when it’s squishy?
Second, wireless itself has health hazards, so attaching wifi devices to your children’s bodies is BAD. In Europe, they have BANNED wifi hotspots near schools and public libraries. Studies are researching cell phone use and cancer, infertility. Until more is known, it’s best to reduce kid’s exposure to EMFs.
@pentamom , but isn’t that part of ANY super convenience that has entered our worlds? You can channel surf because you don’t have to get up and change the TV station. You can glance at your email (or social media) while you wait to check out of a store.
You might not be a consumer that would buy this or make use of it, but that’s true of any consumer products.
E, yes, those criticisms apply to many things.
And they apply to this one, which is why I made them. I never suggested it was a unique evil.
Have never had to bother waking up separately to check Midge’s temperature at night….if it’s high, she wakes the household up with her vomiting. At that point I usually do do a mercury thermometer test – and will then do that every hour or so, as recording this sort of thing is important for the doctor (and obviously you don’t want a kid stroking out, so we would get her to the hospital if it got much over 41 degrees C).
However …..even with a chronically sick kid, I still wouldn’t want a device like this, mainly because the old mercury thermometers simply seem to work better. I’ve had the ear ones in the past and they seem really touch and go about whether you’ll get an accurate reading, particularly with a kid with glue ear. This device looks pretty tinny, and not much better than them. And anyways, if a kid is really sick enough that you need to be ‘worried’ about their temperature, the chances are you won’t be sleeping much, so may as well be manually checking temp.
This is the kind of thing that I object to only on principle. It totally plays into the slippery slope Lenore described in the post. In practice, it just seems cool to have physiological data. I’m fascinated by biology. We’ve always used Natural Family Planning when avoiding pregnancy, so I have years’ worth of charts tracking my own body. I don’t throw them out just because I think they’re cool to have. I daydream about wanting to use the compiled information to create some sort of cool infographic (that no one but I would ever possibly want to see). I haven’t ever had the time, but maybe some day!
Also, you’re ignoring the point I also made that I can’t find any particular *good* in this thing.
So I have reasons to think that it creates certain problems, and no reason to think it solves any real ones, so I don’t think it’s a useful product. As someone pointed out in the comments on the FRK Facebook page, a kid with a real medical need will probably have a real medical monitoring system, not a mass-marketed gee-whiz gizmo. Absent that real medical need, I can’t see any real problems this solves.
Do some parents really get up at night to check a sleeping child’s temperature? I have never done so. I can’t recall my parents ever doing so for me or my brother. The only time that I have ever taken a temperature/had a temperature taken during sleep time is if the sick kid woke up complaining, at which point a thermometer is equally convenient as everyone is up anyway.
And if the info is just being sent to your phone while you sleep, what exactly is the point to start with? Is there some value to having a morning record of your child’s temperature throughout the night of which I am unaware? I have never taken my sick child to the doctor and had him ask for a graph of her sleeping temperatures.
@pentamom — you can’t think of a SINGLE thing that’s good about it!? If your kid is running a fever and you want to check on them in the night to see if it’s gone up — you can roll over, look at the temp on your phone and see it w/o out getting out of your bed.
Perhaps I’m self centered, but that saves me getting up, perhaps waking up my spouse, and potentially making it easier for me to go back to sleep, then I consider that convenient.
Now — I bought an ear thermometer when my first kid was a baby (and pretty sick). I ended up returning it because I felt it varied too widely to be useful. I didn’t get another one and did w/o anything but a regular thermometer for both of my kids. So I’m not saying this would be necessity, but I certainly can see that it’s useful.
The argument about “more monitoring is a slippery slope” might be true, but it’s everywhere. This product is not a free range issue that I can see.
@E: “Interesting how itâ€™s a wholly negative response thus far. I know my sister would have made use of something when dealing with her chronically ill child when infection (and thus temp) was an important indicator.”
I can see how it could be very useful under certain, extremely rare, circumstances. And while I’m not trying to start a debate on infant formula versus breastfeeding, it kind of reminds me of how formula has been a real godsend for those rare cases in which a mother died in childbirth, couldn’t keep her baby with her, or had an extremely rare condition whereby she was completely unable to produce sufficient (or in some cases ANY) milk to feed her baby.
But as with any product that was originally designed to meet an actual need experienced by a small portion of the population, capitalism is all about looking for ways to increase the target market by creating a need (or demand) for the product everywhere it can possibly be created. In a relatively short time, formula feeding became the “standard” method, and soon there were growing numbers of women being told by medical staff that they didn’t produce enough milk. And in many cases, babies were kept in the nursery and fed formula throughout much of the hospital stay, to the point where initiating breastfeeding wasn’t as easy.
And nurses started getting attached to the idea of recording how many ounces of milk the newborn was getting…I still remember one of my nurses getting rather short with me right after my first daughter was born, when I was so absorbed with getting to know my baby and learning how to breastfeed, that I kept forgetting to check the time whenever she started and stopped nursing, so that the nurse could log it in her records. And the nurse was very upset with me for letting her spend time at the breast when she wasn’t actively suckling (something I later learned was very useful for building up milk supply as well as good for my daughter emotionally). In this area, it seemed like a “convenience” had been turned into a rather crippling handicap for some nurses, and ultimately for some mothers.
While I’m certainly in favor of the free market (except where it harms people in developing countries), I think we should all be wary of how quickly a practice that’s widely adopted can be seen as a necessity when it really isn’t.
@Donna — yes, I’ve gotten up to check my small children’s temps if they were sick. Perhaps I actually took their temperature, or perhaps I just felt them to see if they were still hot or seemed hotter, etc. I’ve also had a screaming freaking out toddler with the on-call Dr on the phone and no way to get their temp (even though the Dr was asking) before they sent us to the ER.
And as I mentioned a few times, this certainly would have been helpful (again, if accurate/reliable) for my niece when she was alive. Not because her health status depended on that, but because it would have made my sister’s life a little easier.
There’s nothing wrong with this product. (just like there’s nothing wrong with those fancy kitchenaid stand mixers, but I have lived 50 years w/o one!)
E — what Donna said. If the kid has a fever worth worrying about, I’ll want to visually check on the kid myself, because that’s a pretty serious situation. Also, the child will already be restless and in need of attention and comfort — kids don’t sleep peacefully with significant fevers.
If the child is old enough to tough it out without needing Mama when he wakes up, he can take his own temperature, and let me know if he’s concerned. The kid in the video is definitely old enough for that.
So no, I can’t think of a single good reason to use it. I’m not deriding those who might want to use it, but that’s my opinion, and it’s worth every cent you’re paying for it. 😉
“More monitoring is a slippery slope is”, IMO, as free range an issue as it gets. Sure, it’s everywhere — but this is one more place that it is. Much of what motivates the free range movement is the fact that issues like this are pervasive, not rare.
@E – as I said above, and Donna has alluded to, if the child is not sick enough to be either vomiting or convulsing, then what would be the need for a temperature check at night?
I can see techno-geeks getting this as a fun toy (my dad would absolutely have bought one, had they been available when we were children ) but as a family tool, why?
” I think we should all be wary of how quickly a practice thatâ€™s widely adopted can be seen as a necessity when it really isnâ€™t.”
Who said this was a necessity? Certainly not me, I don’t even own the ear-style thermometer.
It’s a convenience. People who are nervous and/or have the disposable income to purchase such things might do so. I don’t see how something that can be done with another method could be construed as a necessity. My house is filled with things (microwave, TVs, DVR, remote controls, fit bit, gas grill, cell phones, ipad, the spiralizer I just got for xmas) that are not necessities.
As far as if I got up at night to check my kids (or checked them before I went to bed) I really don’t care what other people’s habits are or were. If I felt like I would feel better checking them, so be it. If something out there made that more convenient for me, I’d probably consider it. Again, I ditched the ear thermometer thing, so I also realize that I might think it’s not worth it. To each their own.
Perhaps when running a high fever, I wanted (or the Dr suggested) to give meds to reduce it. Honestly, my kids in their 20s now, so it’s been awhile, but I am fully okay with the idea of parents checking on kids with fevers. And it’s cool if you didn’t or don’t.
I think that, eventually, someone will invent an app that lets you physically upload your kid to your phone, so that he exists only digitally and is never at risk of anything except an iPhone upgrade.
“…and it seems like this makes it easier on parents than getting up to do any of the other methods.”
See that is the mental trap these sales people get you on, the notion that a fever that wouldn’t land a kid in the hospital needs monitored rather than an occasional spot check. My dad is a doctor, my mom is a former nurse, she was also a stay at home mom, and a serious night owl. They NEVER disturbed sleep to check a kid’s temperature. When my sister and I were sick, they did everything they could to keep us asleep as much as possible. If the kid is sleeping you let their body work it’s process, if the kid is not sleeping, the kid will let you know. That simple.
The point of controlling a fever at home is for the child’s comfort, so the child can rest. If the child sleeps through the medicine wearing off, they are better off without more.
Like my parents I take a temperature at the beginning and suspected end of illness to determine if my kid is too sick for school and when she is well enough to return. I’ll also take one if she seems to have taken a turn for the worse, make sure she hasn’t gone beyond normal fever levels. Also I take one for reference before first putting medicine into her system. I have had a few occasions to repeat an hour later when she failed to fall asleep and didn’t feel like she was cooling off. But she has always been responsive to medicine even when it wasn’t apparent to the touch. I technically also have a policy of taking an actual temperature once a day just to note the progression of the illness. But all the other causes seems to keep the readings above one a day. And it is truly rare for any of this to need to happen at night.
Even with a doctor and a nurse in the house my parents would not have kept me home if I were sick enough to worry constantly about my temperature, because they wouldn’t have had the resources at home to save me if a fever that out of control took a turn for the brain damaging.
Furthermore, measuring temperature on the skin is minimally useful. There is a reason my parents handed me an old mercury thermometer when my kid was born. Ancillary temperatures are nearly worthless, and mercury is more accurate than digital, or alcohol. And they wanted to make sure I had a way to get an accurate internal temperature before making any calls that could lead to an ER trip. It has never come up.
@Havva — the ad is not alarmist at all, it simply explains the convenience of it. It doesn’t mention doctors or hospitals at all.
Many helicopter parents don’t want to be helicopter parents. They want to step back but they just can’t. The ‘what if’ feeling is overwhelming!
My advice is to buy a few seasons of the sitcom ‘Everybody Loves Ray’. Watch it many times over. Imagine yourself as Marie and all the resentment your children have about you because of your ‘over the top’ controlling nature. You’re into their lives so much that the annoyance is similar to a bad smell.
This horrible feeling is what’s needed in order to be able to overcome the overwhelming ‘what if’ feeling.
E, that’s the point. It doesn’t mention doctors or hospitals, but it assumes that normal parents exercise a hospital-like protocol over their mildly ill kids. “Alarmist” might not be the word I’d choose, but playing off an extreme, rather than ordinary, parenting practice for marketing purposes might cover it.
â€ ‘I think we should all be wary of how quickly a practice thatâ€™s widely adopted can be seen as a necessity when it really isnâ€™t.’
“Who said this was a necessity? Certainly not me, I donâ€™t even own the ear-style thermometer. ”
The whole logic of the ad is that repeatedly checking your child for a fever all night long is a necessity to a good parent.
@pentamom — I think you saw a different ad then me. It shows the parents going to bed, the Dad reading a book, and the Mom checking the temp on her phone. She puts it down next to her bed and apparently set an alert if it reaches a certain temp. That’s it.
It also shows her reviewing some sort of chart during the day and the voiceover suggesting you can see the impact (or not I suppose) of fever reducing meds.
Sure, it mentions convenience (just like any non-necessity tries to sell you on), but no where does it show the parents checking in the middle of the night.
Cold, flue, and measles are not the only thing that’s contagious. Anxiety can be as well. It’s not transmitted through germs but it can be transmitted via attitude. A mother that worries about worries about worrying is teaching her children to do the same.
Anxiety is far more serious than a temperature. (although some people think otherwise)
E – There is definitely an implication that checking your sick child’s temperature during the night is expected parenting behavior in this commercial. While I don’t care whether someone chooses to do it or not, it seems highly unnecessary and overly anxious to me. A child with a dangerously high temperature is not sleeping peacefully and a child who is sleeping peacefully doesn’t need his/her temperature checked.
Fever in most children means the body is doing it’s job and fighting infection. Constantly monitoring usually leads to medicating the fever, which often leads to worse side effects, especially with OTC medications. Take a parent who over monitors for temperature and I can guarantee they are over treating a fever with medication.
Each year acetaminophen causes over 100,000 calls to poison control centers, 50,000 emergency room visits, 26,000 hospitalizations, and more than 450 deaths from liver failure. In addition, regular use of acetaminophen is linked to a higher likelihood of asthma, infertility, and hearing loss. And then there’s ibuprofen. I personally use Advil sparingly for aches and pains and only when my kids are symptomatic with other ailments (like ear pain).
Technology (and life saving drugs) can be useful but can also be over used. Fevers can be scary. They usually mean the child needs lots of rest (and uninterrupted sleep) and fluids to let the body fight off infection. Unless the child is prone to febrile seizures, this is just more medical testing gone overboard and a device for an anxious parent to overmedicate an otherwise healthy child.
This product caters to two markets.
1. It targets anxious parents and helps them to become even more anxious.
2. It target people that like to collect the latest electronic gadgets.
I love the sitcom ‘Just Shoot Me’. Jack (the happy go lucky millionaire dimwit) is excited because he bough the latest device called a FAX. (once upon a time it was the latest) â€œThis will revolutionize my life! I can’t wait until someone else gets one!â€
â€’I think we should all be wary of how quickly a practice thatâ€™s widely adopted can be seen as a necessity when it really isnâ€™t.’
“Who said this was a necessity? Certainly not me, I donâ€™t even own the ear-style thermometer.
“Itâ€™s a convenience. People who are nervous and/or have the disposable income to purchase such things might do so. I donâ€™t see how something that can be done with another method could be construed as a necessity…”
I was actually agreeing with you that in some extremely rare situations, such as when children have serious medical conditions that make it necessary for their temperatures to be continuously monitored, the lives of those children’s parents could be made much easier with this device. I mean, if you’re going to be checking your child’s temperature every few minutes ANYway, with or without the device, because of some sort of a rare condition, then I do see a device like this as a real godsend. And I’m so sorry about the loss of your little niece!
Also, because I’m a freedom-promoting kinda gal (other than when market freedoms harm vulnerable populations by taking away their livelihoods), I am NOT at all complaining about this product being produced, marketed, and sold to anyone who wants to buy it — just as I am NOT at all opposed to any parent having access to infant formula if they want it, regardless of whether they are able to breastfeed.
In both cases, though, I just encourage people to sift through every marketing campaign and understand what parts of the message are dishonest manipulation (for example, as pentamom said about this ad, “The whole logic of the ad is that repeatedly checking your child for a fever all night long is a necessity to a good parent”)…
…and then, if use of a particular product, such as the thermometer-thingy or infant formula, becomes the norm, it’s important for people to carefully examine even well-meaning advice from people who are not at all attempting to be dishonest, but have had their perception of reality affected by their own continual reliance on the product (for example, in the early days after my first daughter was born, I had a concerned relative advise me that because my baby was crying to nurse so frequently, my milk supply could be insufficient, and it might be a good idea to supplement with formula; thankfully, I was connected with La Leche League and knew that the frequent nursing was my baby’s way of telling my breasts that they needed to produce more milk, and that “topping her off” with formula after nursing could actually lead to a reduction in my milk production and result in a self-fulfilling prophecy).
This was just a situation where a woman who had only experienced formula feeding with her own babies and was accustomed to seeing a newborn eat and be satisfied for the next two to three hours, felt kind of alarmed by the very different behavior of my breastfeeding baby. In and of itself, the wide use of infant formula doesn’t “create a need” for breastfeeding mothers to switch to formula — it’s just necessary for breastfeeding moms to have an awareness about what’s normal for a breastfeeding baby, because without that awareness, some have ended up believing the well-meant misinformation coming from some people who were only familiar with formula, and switched to formula feeding when they themselves really wanted to breastfeed.
I could see a similar situation developing if use of the thermometer-thingy becomes the norm in some segments of society. Again, this doesn’t mean that I’m opposed to it being marketed, or to anyone who wants it being able to buy it. But I myself wouldn’t get one, and if people wondered whether we used one I’d tell them that I see it as completely unnecessary in our case, and I’d encourage anyone who wasn’t sure to learn all they can about fever and evaluate the pros and cons of doing a degree of monitoring that is completely unnecessary for the vast majority of kids.
I think the ground has been covered, but I don’t think technology is ever going to stop evolving because some people think it’s overreach (capt. obvious).
I had the old school, baby monitors, sound only. I think we stopped using it within a week or so because it picked up too much noise. We probably used them when we were outside doing yard work a few times.
For whatever reason, this kind of product idea appeals to me. Not because I need to be alerted every 30 minutes or need to wake up and check periodically (using any method) just because it makes it *easier* if I WANT to check their temp. I’m thinking babies mostly because a) that’s when you are working with less communication, and b) it can be more challenging to take temps and c) it’s probably when you’d like to know the most
I mean — I don’t have FB and thought it was a complete waste of (my) time before I deleted my account. But there are millions who use it every single day — many many many times.
I’m on the fence here. On the one hand, I don’t think it’s exactly necessary to track an otherwise healthy child’s fever trends and response to medication via smartphone (and besides, it’d get overwhelming to do that AND simultaneously track a healthy child’s movements via GPS, or the TouchBase app), but on the other hand, I echo other posters who say that the smartphone method would be easier than having to get out of bed and check manually each time. However, on the other OTHER hand, I agree that it’s best to let a sleeping child sleep, and not worry about checking their temperature until they wake up. Looking back on my own childhood, I don’t remember ever having my temperature taken with a mercury thermometer. Instead, my mom used first an LCD strip thermometer (which worked the same way as a mood ring, and was probably about as accurate), and later on, her hand. This was because it simply wasn’t necessary for her to know my brother’s or my exact temperature–since she knew what “normal” felt like for both of us, she also knew what “fever” felt like. Usually, if we didn’t feel feverish, we didn’t have a fever, and if we complained of other symptoms, like headaches, feeling hot, chills, stomach aches and nausea, et cetera, then she’d address that. Usually, most of the remedies for those things (fluids, rest, Tylenol, et cetera) would also bring down our fevers if we had one. Now, I was born in 1984, and in a lot of ways, it was a simpler time, but sometimes, the simple way of doing things works just as well as other, more complicated or expensive ways. My brother and I are both healthy adults now, despite our parents not having had access to Smart Diapers, Owlet monitors, GPS tracking devices, or Fever Scouts when we were kids. Anyway, one key design flaw with the Fever Scout–the sensor is just a sticker. The child could easily pull it off at night (adhesive can be itchy), or it could fall off in the course of normal tossing and turning, or from sweat (because sometimes, a fever can make you sweat), and then, unbeknownst to the parent, they’d be monitoring the temperature of the child’s bedsheets, or the inside of the child’s pajama sleeve, rather than his or her body, which would result in a “false negative” for fever.
@hineata We have been told to check on kids temperature and when it was higher then something give the kid medicine to take it down. I do not remember what the number was. The kid usually slept better, breathed more calmly and clearly felt better after medicine. However, we were not supposed to take temperature down if it was lower then tred hold, because somewhat raised temperature helps immune system fight. Too high is harmful for reason I do not recall.
That was standards doctor advice to pretty much everyone for toddler sickness.
As for “just look and see the need” suggested alternatives of measuring temperature, I find measuring easier to do. It is continuum, I am not a doctor and did not seen hundreds of sick kids, I can not just look and guess whether to take it down or wait. And when two people look at the same kid they guess different anyway, because it boils down to how sensitive or fearful who is.
Measuring and deciding from that is simply less stressful and easier to do for someone who knows not much about kiddy physiology.
When the kid is in other room, I do not hear enough to guess whether kid sleeps calmly or not until the kid cry. I have to go there. And I would rather check before I go to sleep so my sleep is not interrupted.
I actually tried a similar device before. It didn’t work at all. I ended up checking my kid’s temp the regular way, because I couldn’t trust it.
I also don’t understand getting up in the middle of the night just to check temperatures, unless you have a VERY sick child. In which case, I’d have them in my bed anyway.
a) Are there really diseases that require continuous/every few minute fever checks? How does the parent/child do anything else with their day?
b) This particular discussion is not about breast vs formula. There are many other posts on this site at which one can post their views on that topic.
When he was a young lad, my brother ran super high fevers for even the slightest illnesses. 104 was pretty much a given and 105 and 106 happened. While his fevers did require special care, his doctor never suggested constant monitoring or waking him up from a peaceful sleep to check his temperature. I can only imagine this being something recommended in the case of a child who is seriously ill outside of the fever (cancer or similar). In those cases, I find it hard to believe that doctors would want you to use something like this rather than actually personally checking on the child if his/her health is that precarious.
“a) Are there really diseases that require continuous/every few minute fever checks? How does the parent/child do anything else with their day?”
I personally wouldn’t know about that, but maybe someone else here does.
“b) This particular discussion is not about breast vs formula.”
Right. I was just making an analogy, saying that I see nothing wrong with anyone developing and manufacturing a product, or with anyone choosing to buy that product. I just also see a risk to any product becoming so much “the norm” that people unquestioningly start assuming that it, or something like it, is necessary. Even though my personal preferences are pretty obvious when it comes to the two products that I made the analogy with, I thought it was pretty obvious that I wasn’t trying to debate what “everyone” should do in every situation, but was just encouraging a questioning mind.
“There are many other posts on this site at which one can post their views on that topic.”
Thanks for the heads up. Somehow I have a feeling that if a post is no longer on the main page, most people aren’t likely to ever see it, so if I wanted to engage in a discussion on an issue that wasn’t currently being discussed here, I’d go someplace where it was being discussed. Since I’m speaking more generally about the capitalist method of creating a perceived need for a product that a person or company wants to sell, I think my comments fit just fine right here, but of course everyone has their own opinions about everything — that’s why some folks think the temp-gadget is cool and others don’t.
I’m with pentamom on this one.
The benefits of it are small. On the other hand the drawbacks are enormous. However it takes insight to understand the ‘slippery slope’ that this leads to.
I have worked for years with anxiety. The depth of it varies like a lake. It can be 6â€ deep or a few hundred feet. When you buy this product, you may be in command of it and in no danger of the slippery slope.(or you may slip) However teaching your children that a proper way to parent is to monitor their temperature while they sleep and graph it on a phone will help them into anxiety.
I concede that there are benefits to this product. On the other hand, the drawbacks overshadow them so much that they are almost non existent.
I’m happy to hear that you don’t know the hell that anxiety can put someone in.
I wonder that if Howard Hughes had a phone that would monitor the germs on his hands, would it have cured him?
This isn’t a product I would buy.
And… that’s where my analysis ends. It’s none of my business if someone else sees something here they’d pay for. Or if they want to buy it, put it on a shelf, and admire the package design.
My daughter is 9. For Christmas, she got art supplies and a trampoline. She told me most of the kids in her class were asking for a Fitbit for Christmas (they monitor heart rate, steps taken, and other vitals).
I’m all for fitness and keeping kids physically fit, but do 9 year-olds need to track their number of steps? What about just playing like normal kids without overanalyzing data?
Could be great for families with lids that have recurrent childhood fevers/periodic fever syndrome. Great for data collection
P.S., I realize now that I made it sound like my mom did all the “sick care” when my brother and I were kids. This isn’t true–my dad definitely pitched in as well. When I got the chicken pox in grade four, my dad took me to the doctor, because my mom was at law school. My brother got the chicken pox that same year as well (two or three times, if I remember correctly), and that predominantly fell to my dad as well. When my brother split his lip on the garage door while learning to ride a bike (he was balancing, and moving, but didn’t yet know how to stop), my mom was out running errands, so my dad took him to the after-hours clinic, then to the dentist (on the advice of the doctor there), and then to McDonald’s for a milkshake, and somewhere in there, he bought Carnation Instant breakfast as well, since the stitches in my brother’s lip prevented him from eating real food for the next few days. When my brother broke his leg on his second day of grade two, when some other kid pushed him off the monkey bars, my dad took him to the hospital to get a cast put on, because my mom was, again, at law school. Those are just the memories that stand out the most, but I certainly remember my dad doing his share of doling out medicines during various colds and flus and ear infections and whatnot of my youth. He also assumed an equal role when my brother was a baby and toddler, and was in and out of the hospital for hernia operations (three times), and croup. So, I’m sure my dad also took my brother’s and my temperatures with the crummy 80’s LCD strip thermometer as well; I just remember my mom doing that specific aspect of sick care more than I do my dad. Also, I’m sure that by now, they could both tell a normal temperature from a fever by touch, but by the time I hit puberty or so, I could (and preferred to) take care of myself when I got sick. I’m still like that–I don’t like to be fussed over.
P.S., One thing I remember from the split lip incident, and the broken foot incident, was that even though my dad was the parent in charge at those times, and even though my brother had sustained injuries that could have been caused by child abuse, or neglect, nobody we dealt with even tried to accuse my dad, my mom, or the school, of either child abuse, or neglect. If they had, they probably would have questioned me to, since I lived in the same house, and went to the same school (at the time) that my brother did. I know that that’s not directly relevant to the topic at hand, but it ties in with the whole “slippery slope” mentality. It’s become the “new normal” that children aren’t supposed to engage in risky play that might lead to injuries, and it’s becoming the “new normal” for parents to be able to continually track every aspect of their children’s lives, up to and including what’s going on inside their bodies. The “tracking” trend may be moving more slowly than the “bubble wrap/bonsai/hot-house flower parenting” trend, but I remember attending university with a young woman who was being tracked via a GPS chip in her phone, at the age of eighteen. Since then, there have been more intricate smartphone tracking apps developed, with the implicit message of “don’t trust your kid.” These devices were undoubtedly inspired by ankle bracelets designed for people under house arrest, not for the general population. With the medical tracking technology, which was probably designed for critically ill or medically fragile children, we’ve seen Smart Diapers, Owlet monitors, and now Fever Scouts make their way into typical family homes, inhabited by healthy children. Some of this technology is useful; for example, children (or anyone) with Type 1 Diabetes, can now use continuous glucose monitors, and those can be hooked up to remote monitoring devices, so their parents/caregivers don’t have to wake up at night, and wake their children up at night, to check their blood sugar, when they can just look at the screen. This is different, though, because pricking a finger is much more invasive than using an ear or forehead thermometer, because Type 1 Diabetes is a chronic illness, compared to a fever that might last a few days, and because the consequences of an abnormally high or low blood sugar can be much worse than the consequences of a regular, garden-variety fever. But, my point is that using GPS technology to track otherwise trustworthy kids (and even young adults), and using remote medical tracking technology for otherwise healthy kids, perpetuates the message that “perfect” is the new minimum, and constant surveillance is necessary to ensure that everything stays at that level, and not participating in this paranoia is “abusive” or “neglectful.”
@That_Susan, I’ll take you at your word, but it certainly seems as if you are dropping “breast is best” into an unrelated topic just to make sure the formula-feeding losers (who of course researched NOTHING and didn’t even CONSIDER breast-feeding) are aware of their poor choices.
@Beth, I actually read that post of Lenore’s on breastfeeding, and I do believe that children’s health is shaped by many, many different factors. That’s great that you’re taking my word for it, as I really don’t see myself as an authority on determining the “best” approaches for other families, whether it comes to feeding methods or monitoring temperatures. My main interest is in encouraging people to find a way to live in freedom within our free market system, mainly by keeping themselves informed and seeing advertising tactics for what they really are. Some inventions make huge changes in our culture, for better or worse, to the point where parents who opt out of using those inventions can sometimes feel pushed into a corner by those who feel they are depriving or even neglecting their children.
Tim mentioned electricity, and maybe that would have been a better, less emotionally-charged analogy to use. Kids who get to grow up off-grid are gaining experiences and life skills that typical kids are missing out on, but you never hear of child protective services workers showing up at a typical suburban home, worried that those children will be ill-equipped for life after the zombie apocalypse. 🙂 In contrast, CPS workers do sometimes get called about off-grid families.
@Donald — not sure how you took my posts that way. I’ve said repeatedly that clearly this is not a necessity and that if doesn’t appeal to you, by all means don’t get one. I did not intend to make light of those with anxiety (some I know and am related to).
The mere fact that a product exists that doesn’t work with you lifestyle (or personal mental health) doesn’t make it bad. The fact that I might embrace it (I won’t due to my own parenting/family stage) doesn’t mean I’m making fun of people who look at it and say “that would be detrimental to me”.
Again, you could make the same argument for personal security cameras in our homes. I presume that could trigger the same kind of obsession.
I recognized that Facebook was not enjoyable, actually brought me frustration, and was a time waster. I deleted my account. I’m not offended that other people find it enjoyable or productive.
James — it’s none of my business what someone chooses to develop, market, or buy, in the sense that I have no call to interfere with it.
But this is a blog and Lenore posts her thoughts about things and we discuss them. Something being none of our business to meddle with, doesn’t mean there’s something out of bounds in expressing opinions about it.
I’m more annoyed by the intro: there’s nothing worse than finding out your child is sick, especially with a fever. Really? How about finding out your kid has cancer? Has been drafted? Was in a car accident? In the ladder of badness, having a fever barely even registers.
But then again I COMPLETELY MISSED the 8 year old redhead with the 103 degree fever. I was subbing in the class and she was one of the quieter ones.
@Puzzled, if hyperbole bothers you, there are lots of places (including this post) that use it as well.
This is great, parents don’t actually have to go anywhere their sick kid to monitor their temperature. Don’t worry about any of the other symptoms or indicators that you also look for while checking their temperature, like rashes, the runs, dehydration and so on. But that’s okay you know what their temperature is from the other room.
@E: “@Puzzled, if hyperbole bothers you, there are lots of places (including this post) that use it as well.”
Hyperbole absolutely is all over the place! — and I think I’ve just used it in that sentence with words like “absolutely” and “all over,” LOL. We could exhaust ourselves picking apart every single hyperbolic statement. There’s even an episode of “How I Met Your Mother” dedicated to people’s annoying traits and pet peeves, where Ted gets onto Robin for misusing the adverb “literally” in a sentence similar to this one: “I literally couldn’t get out of bed today” (spoken while sitting in the group’s regular hangout, I believe). 🙂
Rather than exhausting ourselves over every tiny bit of hyperbole permeating our world, it makes sense to be selective and focus on the hyperbole that’s bent on disrupting our way of life by manipulating our emotions, such as the hyperbole in this commercial that presents it as a given that good parents are always taking their sick child’s temperature.
Again, as I keep saying, marketers should certainly be free to market. The best defense for those of us who want to live as free from manipulation as possible is simply to, as objectively as possible, pick apart any marketing messages that we feel may be manipulating us towards buying products or adopting practices that we wouldn’t be buying/adopting if our emotions hadn’t been triggered by a particular message. Picking apart that hyperbole is waaay more interesting to me than pointing out to a teenager, “No, you can’t be ‘literally’ speechless because you just SAID, ‘I’m literally speechless!'”
That said, if there’s anyone here who really enjoys picking apart every single hyperbolic statement they hear or read, to each his own. Live your passion, by all means. 🙂
@Warren: “This is great, parents donâ€™t actually have to go anywhere their sick kid to monitor their temperature. Donâ€™t worry about any of the other symptoms or indicators that you also look for while checking their temperature, like rashes, the runs, dehydration and so on. But thatâ€™s okay you know what their temperature is from the other room.”
“Iâ€™m more annoyed by the intro: thereâ€™s nothing worse than finding out your child is sick, especially with a fever.”
I have many that are way worse. How about waking up in the middle of the night to a “Mommy, I got sick” and stepping in a trail of pink, putrid projectile vomit (the lethal combination of hibachi washed down with 2 Shirley Temples). When I finally reached the bathroom (she missed there too), it is so slippery on the tile floor that I fell and banged my face on the sink, breaking my tooth (I needed a root canal too).
I’d take a 1000 fevers over that.
Well, of you have a child that is known to suddenly and without warning go from having a normal fever, to having a dangerously high fever, and to remain asleep in the process, and present no other symptoms, then this product is worthwhile.
Lollipoplover – My 10 year old really wants a Fitbit. She is small and even the smallest doesn’t fit her, which bums her out (but makes things easy for me since I’m not going to buy her one). I think it is more a desire to have what adults have than any real interest in fitness.
@Lollipoplover but the kids who want Fit bit are playing like normal child’s – they want toy same as what they see on adults and I guarantee you they will use it like a toy. They won’t use it to analyse workout in professional way, they will jump around with it and watch numbers and then just look cool to friends. Then they will loose it or forget about it.
We used to want camera similarly when we were kid, then kids wanted phones or whatever for the same reason. It is just that adult like toys are cool for kids.
Like the easy way of measuring a temperature, agree with Lenore about the drawback s of “monitoring constantly”. I had a lot of trouble getting my infants and toddlers to accept a thermometer under the tongue or up the butt (remember that) and didn’t know of the forehead swiping methods. What misery those would have saved us back then.
Cool technology, but putting things on my kids sides is going to be a discomfort for them, at least mine won’t like it. They do love the ear thermometer and the forehead one, so I don’t think I need another device.
The tracking is fine for a hospital but why do I need it for my child? Honestly, taking the temperature at intervals is fine, and overnight checks, who does that? I’d rather let my kid sleep as long as he took his medicine before bedtime, its how we did it in the “old days”…you know, 5 years ago, or even last year.
Sounds like a nice product, but as usual the marketing has to pander to the worst in all of us.
Much as I like them, PB&J is not the healthiest alternative, even wheat bread, so you lost me right there.
@Donna and andy-
Yes, it’s about having what adults have vs. interest in fitness, I get that. It just brings out my “Go outside and run around” mentality when kids want fitness trackers for their 20 minutes of recess each day. Next, they will be asking for a Weight Watchers point value book to monitor each and every bite they eat and assign it’s value (not knocking WW at all- though I do hate the Oprah commercials).
I see how they would want a gadget to wear with numbers and nothing more. The trampoline my daughter got has a monitor that counts the jumps per minute plus total number of jumps and she gets really into breaking her jump record which will likely break this crappy monitor soon. Personally, I look away from the trackers on the machines at the gym (the calories burned makes me calculate what I can have for dessert- kind of negating my workout purpose) or cover them with my towel knowing they are not very accurate (and I shouldn’t be eating dessert). To each his own.
I’m on the Fever Scout website right now, and there’s another major design flaw to this product that nobody else seems to have recognized–the app comes with just the one sensor, it can only track one wearer at a time, and there’s no option to buy extra sensors. So, in families with more than one child, this product isn’t very useful, because kids living in the same house tend to get sick at the same time. Sure, a family with two kids could buy two Fever Scouts, and have one parent tracking each kid, but that wouldn’t work for a single-parent family, or any family configuration in which the kids outnumber the adults.
@Warren – perfectly put!
@pentamom and that susan – I’m completely on your page. The escalation of monitoring isn’t my biggest bugbear here though. What bothers me is the marketing of what I consider to be another unnecessary product for an issue that surely doesn’t affect most families. Having read all the posts above I can certainly accept that someone out there could use this where other methods aren’t suitable.
When my first child was born I bought an in ear thermometer but it was so unreliable I threw it out. I have since relied on touch alone. My kids have luckily never been severely I’ll so I’m not disposed to being really anxious over their health. I know what their normal temp is, slightly warm, pretty hot and 20 mins or so after paracetamol can tell if the temp has come down and so on. If they were really burning up beyond what I could control (and probably displaying other symptoms) I’d see the doctor immediately. Outwith extreme medical conditions is there any need for any other method? Perhaps that’s a stupid question to pose on a forum like this lol…
Specifics aside I’m pretty much against marketing, especially to markets like new or anxious parents (essentially vulnerable people). Just look at all the new baby crap people buy. Maybe it’s just my age but I’m actively avoiding adding lots of sh*t to my life that I really don’t need, especially if they cost money.
Having said all that I need someone to invent a toaster where I can control every aspect of how my bread is toasted because my 8 year old daughter has just explained exactly how brown she wants each corner to be. I’m in the awkward position of having to tell her she’ll eat it however it comes out! Can’t have the little lamb eating uneven, burnt-on-one-side toast now can I?!
@Becks–I don’t like eating partially burnt toast either, so I just scrape off the burnt parts with a knife. Also, I think eight is old enough to use the toaster independently. I learned when I was five or six.
OMG that commercial was too much. The look on the parents’ faces when the kid came in.. lol.
Plus, that kid has got to be at least 8 or 9, and she is seriously squirming about having her temperature taken? Grow up.
@Emily I was kidding about the toaster. And yes she does make toast herself.
@Emily: “@Becksâ€“I donâ€™t like eating partially burnt toast either, so I just scrape off the burnt parts with a knife. Also, I think eight is old enough to use the toaster independently. I learned when I was five or six.”
Funny-scary story! One morning when my older daughter was almost five, her baby sister and I were still sleepy, so she got up and went into the kitchen to make herself some toaster waffles. She came back in a few minutes later to tell me the toaster was on fire!
So I rushed into the kitchen where the toaster was in flames, grabbed an old t-shirt and soaked it in the sink, and threw it on the toaster, which put out the fire. Then I belatedly unplugged it. Everything was fine, though we had to get a new toaster. She was a little scared about using the toaster on her own after that, but she got through it.. We all did. 🙂
So, yeah, even four and five year olds are old enough to make their own toast. 🙂
I feel the same as That_Susan (although I touch my lips to their forehead instead because my hands are always cold). I can tell if they have a fever that way and they’re very rarely high enough that there’s even a reason to get out the thermometer (my oldest is 6.5 and I’ve had to do it 2 occasions when he was under 1; I’ve never had to do it with my 4 year old or 9 month old).
It probably would be useful for certain medically fragile kids but that’s clearly not the way it’s being marketed.
My daughter’s pediatrician recently sent out an e-mail blast suggesting how your child is behaving is so much more important then a number on a thermometer. IE 102 but bouncing around, not a problem. 102 but listless, perhaps time to make an appointment.
@Heartfruit: “My daughterâ€™s pediatrician recently sent out an e-mail blast suggesting how your child is behaving is so much more important then a number on a thermometer. IE 102 but bouncing around, not a problem. 102 but listless, perhaps time to make an appointment.”
Yes, and I’ve also been told that if they’re comfortable enough to sleep through it, it’s nothing to worry about, either.
“PB&J is not the healthiest alternative, even wheat bread, so you lost me right there”
God forbid that, in an obvious moment of parenting weakness after providing your child three meals a day plus snacks for their entire life so far, you don’t choose the healthiest alternative.
â€œ’PB&J is not the healthiest alternative, even wheat bread, so you lost me right there’
God forbid that, in an obvious moment of parenting weakness after providing your child three meals a day plus snacks for their entire life so far, you donâ€™t choose the healthiest alternative.”
I was never even able to find the PB&J reference that the other poster was referring to when he or she said that. I wonder if this other person was even responding to some other thread where someone talked about letting a child who didn’t like what the family was having for dinner just have a PB&J. I couldn’t find any other posts that it even seemed connected to.
Another one of these things that could be useful in some circumstances, e.g. very ill kids, kids with epilepsy, even tracking your own temp when trying to conceive, but in the name of $$$$ the company has to invent some reason that this should replace simpler methods for everyone…
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How did we as a species ever survive to become this f#$&ing stupid ?
I thought the torture was that the parents might step on the blocks to go check on their kid in the middle of the night.