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To the Editor:—
In the editorial 195:1144, 1966) on the death of a newborn infant from the perforation of the rectum by a thermometer, a safer method of taking rectal temperatures was suggested. A paper just published in the Journal of Pediatrics (68:418, 1966) entitled "Temperature of the Umbilicus" attempted to find out whether other means than rectal or oral temperatures might be clinically useful. The data showed that in small infants the temperatures of the umbilicus were between 0.45 F and 85 F lower than simultaneous rectal temperatures.The umbilical temperatures were closer in agreement with rectal temperatures than with axillary temperatures. These findings are of significance to European, African, and Asian countries where the axillary route is often used. In addition, the umbilicus may be a useful site for monitoring temperatures. Much remains to be done in the field of thermometry to develop safer means of taking
Kravitz H. Umbilical Temperatures In Infants. JAMA. 1966;196(13):1161. doi:10.1001/jama.1966.03100260099042