20th - 25th September 2010
In the run up to Meningitis Awareness Week, Brother Max commissioned research - in association with media medic Dr Hilary Jones and Meningitis Research Foundation - focusing on children's health concerns around meningitis and temperature.
We have been delighted to be working with TV medic Dr Hilary Jones in the run up to and during Meningitis Awareness Week to raise awareness of how to spot and how to act if you suspect meningitis in little ones.
A big thank you to the 1,697 of you who took part in this research, which discovered that there is confusion about the correct diagnosis of potentially serious illnesses such as meningitis, especially when it comes to recognising temperature ranges in babies and children.
On the first day of Meningitis Awareness Week, Brother Max and Dr Hilary held an open surgery at London Early Years Foundation with local parents and their little ones - covered by BBC London News and London Tonight - during which Dr Hilary answered questions on a range of subjects, from meningitis to temperature taking.
Dr Hilary Jones says:
"Babies, toddlers and children become poorly all the time. Yet it is very difficult for any concerned parent to know just how sick their child really is. Is it merely a mild viral illness or could they be coming down with the first signs of an ear or chest infection, tonsillitis or even meningitis?
One objective, measurable indication is a child's temperature, which when taken accurately, can give a parent evidence of a more significant condition so that treatment or advice from a doctor may be sought more quickly.
The versatility of a 3-in-1 thermometer like the one form Brother Max offers peace of mind as not only does it measures ear readings, which are the most reliable temperature reading, it also gives the added comfort of taking forehead readings for when ear readings are not possible or liked, and monitors ambient room temperature, an important part of reducing the risk of cot death."
With any illness, quick thinking and speedy reaction is key but the survey showed that parents are not confident, especially when identifying what the normal temperature range for a healthy child should be.
The research findings are:
1) 76% are not completely confident at diagnosing illness with their children
2) 39% are not entirely confident at taking a child's temperature
3) Yet 77% identified fever as one of the symptoms of meningitis and septicaemia
4) 49% are unsure or do not know that body temperature differs between children and adults
5) 64% do not know that critical body temperature varies between babies, toddlers and older children
6) 46% are not aware of the correct body temperature ranges for babies and toddlers
7) 20% are not aware what the optimum temperature a nursery should be to prevent infant cot death syndrome
8) 30% do not know the maximum body temperature at which they should consult a doctor (among children older than 6 months but younger than 2 years)
9) Over 90% own and use at least one thermometer, of which:
- 46% use a digital ear thermometer, which most GP's consider to be the most accurate, safe and easy method of taking a child or baby's temperature
- However 33% solely use and rely on devices that most GP's consider to give inaccurate or inappropriate / unreliable readings.
To find out more about Meningitis Awareness Week and the symptoms of meningitis and septicaemia, visit Meningitis Research Foundation www.meningitis.org or telephone (UK) 080 8800 3344 or (Ireland) 1800 41 33 44.