Research Article

Taking babies' temperatures: science versus social taboos in battle over Baby Check.

BMJ 1993; 307 doi: (Published 11 September 1993) Cite this as: BMJ 1993;307:673
  1. S Handysides
  1. British Medical Journal, London.


    Baby Check, a scoring system for assessing the severity of illness in babies under 6 months old, has not met with the success its developers expected. The inclusion of rectal temperature in the assessment was strongly opposed by the Royal College of Midwives, which refused to alter its view despite evidence of the safety and accuracy of rectal thermometry. British parents appear not to like rectal thermometers either. Most other medical bodies have supported Baby Check and the reason for midwives' opposition may have more to do with professional pique at not being consulted than clinical wisdom.