Do You Need To Check Your Child’s Temperature Every Single Second of Every Single Day?


The idea that if we are not continuously monitoring our children, we are sub-prime parents willfully endangering our kids — that is the next frontier Free-Rangers must assail.

The problem is that technology is so cheap and so pervasive, it keeps creeping into daily life as a “must have.” This fbhyitntnd
particular app
below, still in development, is the apotheosis of things we don’t need for problems we don’t have. Its ad uses false cheer to redefine an ordinary parenting task as completely overwhelming. Then it presents a solution far better suited to hospitals than plain old homes: A way to take a child’s temperature all day long. At the end, the dad is shown relaxed because finally — FINALLY — he can glance at his smart phone and see his kid’s temperature, even when he is away at the office.

Question: Is there anyone who was UNrelaxed on daily basis because he DIDN’T have an update on his kid’s temperature all day long?

The New Yorker just ran a great article by Atul Guwande called “Overkill: America’s Epidemic of Unnecessary Care.” It’s about the problem of excessive medical testing, which leads to over-diagnosis, over -worry, and often, overkill in the form of unnecessary procedures (and the complications that sometimes ensue).

Once you start hunting for problems you will find them. And once parents are told they must be on the hunt 24/7, the result is not relaxation. It’s constant anxiety.

(And let’s not even think about what may happen if, someday, parents who choose NOT to constantly monitor their kids are considered — perhaps even legally — negligent.) – L

UPDATE: I don’t believe this product is a parody. Here is the company’s website.


Is your child's temperature 108? Keep checking all day long every day!

Is your child’s temperature 98.6? How about now? How about NOW? Keep checking all day long every day!


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33 Responses to Do You Need To Check Your Child’s Temperature Every Single Second of Every Single Day?

  1. Tim May 18, 2015 at 8:25 am #

    Nope. I refuse to believe that’s real. First, no links to fund the product. Second, nothing on Google is even close to that. Third, other videos in that channel all look like cartoons as well. Fourth, it’s absurd. I think this is just a well done parody of helicopter parenting, which I hope doesn’t give anyone real ideas.

  2. Stephanie May 18, 2015 at 8:56 am #

    Only if they might have ebola

  3. Powers May 18, 2015 at 9:00 am #

    Here you go:

  4. Havva May 18, 2015 at 9:05 am #

    If that is a real product, the writer of the add is seriously mocking them. What with the shouting Mr. Fit & Perfect making a perfectly content father unhappy and prompting him to do something totally unnecessary and upsetting to the baby.

    On a more serious note, I have a pretty good idea of what excessive use of ancillary temperature measurements does. My daughter had many ‘fevers’ that we couldn’t find when she got sent home from daycare. Turns out she gets warm when she plays hard and if it is a bit too much she becomes clingy and crying. The ancillary temperature measure wasn’t accurate enough to see the difference between slightly overheated and feverish. We eventually solved the problems by instructions to sit her down and give her water and a chance to cool down after playing hard, and by sending an unopened oral thermometer.

  5. Jill May 18, 2015 at 9:18 am #

    Lenore is right. Once you start hunting for problems you will find them. Just consider the 15-percent upsurge in the diagnosis of thyroid cancer in South Korea in the past two decades. No, South Koreans aren’t suddenly dropping like flies from thyroid cancer. Excessive testing turned up what were, in almost every case, tiny, non-aggressive tumors that would likely have done no harm at all if they hadn’t been detected.
    Check a kid’s temperature when she or he is sick, other than that, in the words of the horrible song from Frozen, let it go.

  6. Wendy W May 18, 2015 at 9:31 am #

    The only legit use I can see for this is when a child is so ill that an excessively high temp is a true risk. For an average sick child, most moms can tell the approximate temp with by feeling the forehead. It’s an invention in search of a market.

  7. Antje May 18, 2015 at 9:51 am #

    Sure looks like a hoax. Just read the “Perks” on the indiegogo page and you’ll see that this is not a serious campaign. I sure hope nobody falls for it.

  8. Emily May 18, 2015 at 11:09 am #

    A few things here:

    1. I remember when ear thermometers first came out, and they were advertised as being less invasive than oral, armpit, or rectal thermometers. Now the cartoon shows the kid freaking out at having his temperature taken in his ear, which takes less than three seconds, as opposed to the older thermometers that had to be held in place? Are kids just less resilient than they were when I was growing up? It seems odd. My parents had an LCD strip thermometer that worked essentially the same way as a mood ring, and it was a pliable strip that was pressed directly onto the person’s forehead. My brother and I didn’t fight that, but we didn’t like having to sit still. We would have much preferred the ear thermometer. In any case, sometimes a hand does just fine. It can’t tell the exact temperature, but “Junior feels hot” seems good enough. Why do you need to know “Junior has a temperature of 101.5?” Either way, the answer is, “Give Junior some Gatorade, and have him rest.”

    2. The annoying cartoon man doesn’t say WHY the father has to check his son’s temperature “every so often.” Is he sick? Medically fragile? Is there more to the story that we don’t know about, or has it simply become the norm to treat healthy children like they might fall ill at any given moment? What are the implications of this? Does it mean not taking healthy children on outings, family visits, to birthday parties, the park, et cetera, because they MIGHT get sick? That’s no way to live.

    3. How often is “every so often” when the child isn’t actively sick? Once a day? Twice a day? Every few hours? What’s reasonable here? I have no idea, because when I was a kid, I only had my temperature taken when I felt sick, not just whenever.

    4. If you actually drink the Kool-Aid and buy all these baby monitoring products, then what does that look like? Okay, now Junior is wearing Smart Diapers, to constantly test to see if he has a UTI or Type 1 Diabetes. Clipped to the waistband of his Smart Diaper is the Temp-A-Sure sensor, and on his ankle, he has an Owlet monitor, which bears an eerie resemblance to a house-arrest anklet. When he gets older, the Smart Diaper will be replaced with a sensor on his bicycle that’ll prevent him from going outside a certain range, a sensor so his parents can tell if he’s fallen down (so they can commence feeling badly, as Lenore said), and later on, a GPS chip in his cell phone, so his parents can tell if Junior’s phone is making it to all of Junior’s university classes, whether or not Junior is accompanying his phone to said classes. Anyway, with all of these sensors and tracking devices and GPS thingies, Junior’s parents aren’t just infantilizing Junior, but they’ve also replaced constantly supervising their son, with constantly supervising their smartphones. That really doesn’t seem more convenient, because when problems arise, it’s not as if they can fix them remotely–I mean, it’s not like they can just glance at the screen and say, “Oh, look, the Smart Diaper says Junior has a UTI. I’ll press this button to give him some cranberry juice.” I don’t even want to know what it’d be like for parents of more than one child.

    6. Do these Temp-A-Sure people even realize that “continuously monitoring someone in a friendly and non-intrusive manner” is a total oxymoron?

    6. All of this monitoring technology just feeds into the “cell phones everywhere” culture. I remember when it was considered rude to have your cell phone on at a live performance, art gallery, museum, church service, yoga class, or any number of things. This doesn’t seem to be the case anymore–I teach yoga, and I don’t allow phones to be on in my classes, but others think I’m uptight for feeling this way. I fear that people are going to forget what it’s like to have to wait to talk to someone, or even what it’s like to GET to wait a while before talking to anyone–as in, to turn off your remote communication devices, and just take in the experience at hand.

    Then again, maybe I’m a little bitter, because I went to a movement audition (fitness instructor equivalent of a job interview) a few days ago, and, among other rudenesses born of being “busy and important,” the person interviewing me interrupted me mid-sentence to answer her cell phone, and then proceeded to talk for about 10 minutes with the other person, about how busy and important and pressured she was. But, my point is, I’m afraid that this is becoming the new normal, and it’s becoming rude NOT to be attached to your cell phone 24/7. On the bright side, I recently started teaching Aquafit, and the phone thing doesn’t happen there, because waterproof smartphones have yet to hit the market. I hope they never do. But, I can see the “busy and important” mentality, and the “sanctimommy” culture really driving the “cell phone 24/7” thing, because it’s hard to argue with “I’m so busy,” or “I need to be in constant contact with my children, for their SAFETY. I’m a GOOD PARENT.” Nobody wants to seem lazy, or like a bad parent (or a childless person who “just doesn’t understand because they don’t have kids”), so they keep quiet about it.

  9. Mark Davis May 18, 2015 at 11:35 am #

    Wow, I have no idea if it’s a parody or not, but the website is full of spelling, style and grammar errors, the subtitles for the video even have spelling mistakes, and the voice-overs on the video contain at least one pronunciation mistake. The whole thing is very amateurishly done, and even if I felt this product would be helpful, I’d be very leery about supporting it as a kickstarter.

    I’m leaning towards parody anyway. Especially based on the first 2/3 of the video.

  10. MichaelF May 18, 2015 at 12:07 pm #

    Well considering Mr Fit is the one causing the baby to cry, I don’t really see the problem, other than removing him from the equation.

    Otherwise there are the same amount of people who will fall for this, who also fell for numerous Ronco products in the 90’s. As the saying goes, “there is one born every minute…”

  11. Nadine May 18, 2015 at 12:34 pm #

    So it’s not just that you have to be afraid of anything happening to the child but also for the child itself and find any and all ways not to disturb it’s forcefield and set it off?

  12. lollipoplover May 18, 2015 at 1:14 pm #


    The Ronco products always remind me of the spoof SNL commercials. Gosh there’s too many to love.

    This one (though it’s Funny or Die) is a favorite:

  13. Reziac May 18, 2015 at 1:17 pm #

    I hope it ain’t real….

    Body temperature fluctuates, depending on time of day and activity level, by as much as 4 or 5 degrees. Hey kids, run up and down the sidewalk a few times and give your parents a fever!

  14. Suzanne May 18, 2015 at 1:21 pm #

    The website looks legit and the patent numbers are listed. Does this mean I should feel like a bad parent because I use my hand to to take my children’s temperature and only pull out the real thermometer if the feel warm? I’m really confused by the ad – why do I need to periodically take my kid’s temp during the day? This that being said, my sister is a PICU nurse and I bet they would love this device for use there. Let’s not bring the hospital home.

  15. K May 18, 2015 at 1:50 pm #

    Seriously? Why do people think of things like this? Why does society treat kids like they are just one minor incident away from certain death or serious illness? Some of these silly ideas-baby helmets and kneepads, tracking devices, would be useful if a child has a disability, but the advertisers make us believe that it is necessary to use them for all children.

    This temperature thing might be helpful in a child with some sort of illness who can almost die over little bugs, but for most kids, just feel their head if they aren’t looking very well, or use just a normal thermometer, then give them some medicine. It just feeds into the hypochondriac parents who are clogging up emergency rooms and doctors offices because their child has a mild symptom of illness that would probably go away on its own without any need to see a doctor.

  16. SKL May 18, 2015 at 2:20 pm #

    Ha ha, this would be even worse than the online grades apps. LOL.

  17. SKL May 18, 2015 at 2:29 pm #

    I don’t really do thermometers. I mean, when yer hot yer hot, and when yer not yer not. (Who’s old enough to remember that song?)

    I don’t take kids to the doctor for a fever anyway. If it isn’t too high, I let it do its thing (ya know, kill the bugs). If it gets way up there, I will do something to help bring it down – take off the kid’s shirt, cool washrag, tepid bath. Tylenol as a last resort.

    I remember when my kids were wee tots and one got a fever. The nanny was all “oh my oh my” about it. I told her my approach to fevers (above) and she didn’t like that. She proceeded to take my kid’s temperature every few minutes and keep a written log. LOL. I guess she wanted me to give her permission to give the kid Tylenol. But it never really got that high. When I came down and she showed me all her important work, I asked her had she tried A, B, or C to bring the fever down. No, she just had the kid sit there (fully clothed) and watched the temperature climb. Sigh. And no, I did not give her the satisfaction of drugging my kid or calling the doctor. (And yes, my kid is still alive and not brain damaged.)

  18. lollipoplover May 18, 2015 at 2:36 pm #

    I think this feeds into the market (that sadly exists) of parents who believe that if they keep on top of everything, they can control anything bad from ever happening to their child. I’m often baffled by the energy this would entail (and wonder if these parents have any life outside of their kids) needlessly worrying about minor details instead of enjoying life.

    I find the adolescent version of this monitoring in parents who monitor every social media post and get pissed when kids figure ways around being monitored 24/7 (snapchat) by crazy parents who can’t control everything and start to lose their sh*t. I had a sit down with a mom who took to facebook to rant about her daughter’s friend when she became too involved with tween girl drama by following instagram posts. Seriously, get a life and stop stalking your child. Take a class, walk the dog, volunteer, anything, anything but letting everyone know who *upset* you are that your daughter was not included in a pool party or invited roller skating. No one cares.

  19. Jessica May 18, 2015 at 3:02 pm #

    For me the most amusing thing is that a temperature for my kids (when they feel feverish) is always about 99 degrees. Normal temps in our family run a low 97. But according to temp taking norms, my kids have never had more than a low-grade fever. I could see a gadget like this lulling some parents into a false sense of security.

  20. hineata May 18, 2015 at 4:14 pm #

    Agree with Mark….it might be a language issue, but the spelling and grammar needs a decent check, which one would assume would have happened were the ‘developers’ serious pundits.

    My failsafe technique for checking Midge’s temperature was along the lines of. she shaking/vomiting/convinced she’s surrounded by evil things out to get her? Temperature . Then there was the boring recording every half hour or so. For which, incidentally, a normal ear or arm thermometer was fine. For the other two, a hand to the forehead was/is plenty. Like thousands of years of humans before them.

  21. Monica May 18, 2015 at 4:18 pm #

    I taught a kid who could spike fevers fast, and start seizing. This would have been useful to him. But that was one kid out of 100s I taught…I can’t ever see this being useful to anyone that wasn’t chronically ill, which would ma e it u practical and highly expensive

  22. SanityAnyone? May 18, 2015 at 4:25 pm #

    I guess it could serve as an early warning system to protect kids with high vulnerability due to recent injury or infection, immune system disorders, or dealing with days of fever such that you don’t have to wake them. I hope it is never seen as required for healthy kids.

  23. rob o May 18, 2015 at 5:35 pm #

    I never bought a gadget for monitoring my kids but I can see a few unique uses for this. Febrile convulsions occur in a few percent of under 6 year olds due to high body temps related to infection usually. 7 years ago had my daughter been attached to this device while sleeping she could have possibly prevented an ambulance ride and being unresponsive to stimuli for 1 and blue lips from febrile convulsion if I had discovered earlier that her temp was going to put her into convulsion.other than those type of scenarios, agreed – waste of time and not indicated unless under 6 and recovering from infection and sleeping.

  24. Peter May 18, 2015 at 6:20 pm #

    I mean, when yer hot yer hot, and when yer not yer not. (Who’s old enough to remember that song?)

    Jerry Reed, 1971.

  25. Elizabeth May 18, 2015 at 7:11 pm #

    It may or may not be a parody, but the spelling/grammar issues can be explained by the fact that the Indigogo is based in Tel Aviv. At the very start of the cartoon there were some symbols in the corner that looked like another language to me – possible Hebrew, I don’t know. I suspect the company/founder is not native English speaking.

  26. Beth May 18, 2015 at 7:35 pm #

    Even with those prone to febrile seizures or otherwise compromised, is it necessary for parents to constantly know their temperature? Surely even parents of sick kids are allowed to do something else with their time than take and monitor temps.

  27. Warren May 18, 2015 at 9:26 pm #


    Jerry Reed one of my absolute favourite performers. If you ever get the chance watch his movie Hot Stuff, with Dom Deluise and Suzanne Pleshette.

  28. Wow... May 19, 2015 at 7:34 am #


    From what I understand, for those kids who are prone to febrile convulsion, it’s not so much the fever as the rate at which it spikes up. Children who are very prone and/or complex febrile seizures: yeah, you’d want to know quickly if it starts spiking.

  29. Beth May 19, 2015 at 8:52 am #

    @wow…I understand that; so without this app, parents of these kids sit beside their beds 24/7 taking a temp every, what, minute so they’ll be aware of a spike?

    I guess I just find that somewhat hard to believe.

  30. Liz May 19, 2015 at 9:11 am #

    When my youngest was born, we had one of “those” doctors. As we were checking out of the hospital, he was sure to warn me not to let anyone touch my newborn, not to take him out in public for 6 weeks, etc, because if he gets a fever over 100F it’s an automatic spinal tap.

    Seriously? All that did was make me dread him getting a fever and having to choose between him possibly being sick, or taking him to get care and undoubtably making him sick by sticking a needle in his spinal fluid.

  31. Wow... May 19, 2015 at 12:18 pm #


    I really don’t know. I doubt that’s the case too. I can see why those parents of those kids might find it particularly useful, that’s all. I can see why it would make more sense for them than for kids who aren’t prone to febrile seizures too. That’s all.

  32. Warren May 19, 2015 at 4:04 pm #

    You really need to avoid that doctor at all costs.

    Hell, my youngest daughter and I went out for a walk, early morning coffee and breakfast when she was only 5 days old. Mom was sleeping, me and the babe were up so we packed up, went one town over and had the morning of our lives. She was a hit with pretty much everyone we met, and most of them held her.

    Brought mom back a coffee and pastry, and all was good.

  33. Emily May 26, 2015 at 6:43 pm #

    Warren, I think you have it right. The doctors who say “don’t take your newborn out for six weeks” don’t seem to realize that the child is already out–after all, the parent took the child out of the house to go to the doctor’s office to begin with, and doctors’ offices are germy places, because they’re full of sick people.