Press Release: Survey of 1000 UK parents reveals fever phobia still prevalent in parents

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Survey reveals fever phobia remains widespread amongst UK parents

A survey commissioned by Braun, the number one thermometer brand recommended by doctors [1], has revealed that many UK parents still suffer from fever phobia – worrying that fever can cause serious health problems.  

The survey of 1000 UK families has revealed that fever phobia is still rife with new and experienced parents, with many of us turning to the medicine cabinet or doctor without cause.

Over 50% of parents lower their child’s temperature before it reaches a reading of 38.5°C [2]

55% of parents in the UK try to reduce their child’s fever as soon as the temperature reading is elevated [3]. Many suffer from what is known as ‘fever phobia’; worrying fever is an illness. Research indicates that parents fear that fever can cause seizures (32%), brain damage (21%) and death (14%) [4].

Fever is usually a sign that a child is suffering from a viral or bacterial infection. While sometimes uncomfortable for a little one, it is a sign of a healthy immune system as a fever makes it harder for bacteria and viruses to survive and it can play an important part in a child recovering from an infection [5]

Over 40% of parents surveyed said they turned to medication such as paracetamol and ibuprofen as the first port of call when their child was suffering from a fever, even when a child is recording just above normal reading [6] .

Yet according to guidance issued by the American Academy of Pediatrics, bringing down a child’s fever with drugs simply so they have a ‘normal’ temperature can actually lengthen a child’s illness by stopping the body’s natural defense against the infection [7]. However, if a child is in discomfort or presenting a fever between 38-40°C, 92% of doctors recommend that parents administrate either paracetamol or ibuprofen to try and bring the temperature down [8].  

Almost 40% of parents aren’t aware that the definition of fever changes with age

Worryingly, a significant percentage of the UK population are unaware that the definition of fever changes with age – what can be an acceptable temperature for a four year old can be classed as a high fever in a newborn. This can lead to parents misinterpreting a temperature reading, either believing their child isn’t suffering from a fever when they are, or believing that they have fever when they don’t.

Over half of parents are willing to wake their sick child to take a temperature reading

More than half of parents checked their little one’s temperature every hour (or more frequently!) during illness, including during the night [9]. This can lead to a child becoming more distressed through broken sleep as well becoming anxious by picking off the worried vibes of their parents. Yet, with Braun’s range of thermometers, they are gentle enough to use on a sleeping child without the worry of waking them up.

Tackling fever phobia

Braun has tackled fever phobia head on, with the development of a range of thermometers that help parents to measure their child’s temperature comfortably and accurately. Designed to offer parents peace of mind, Braun has developed new cutting-edge features including Age Precision® technology with the ThermoScan® 7, and accurate touch and no touch modes with its No touch + forehead thermometer to help you to precisely monitor your child’s temperature without having to wake them up.


Braun’s ThermoScan® 7 ear thermometer with Age Precision® (IRT6520) takes the guess work out of temperature interpretation

The Braun ThermoScan® 7 features Age Precision® technology - an age adjustable fever guidance system which allows a parent to set the age of their child (0-3 months, 3-36 months and 36 months to adult) so that it is much easier for to interpret the reading quickly, accurately and easily based on the age. Using a simple colour coded display, the thermometer will show either green for a normal temperature, yellow for an elevated, while a red display will indicate a high temperature.

It also combines ergonomic design with other innovative features, including a patented pre-warmed tip and ExacTemp® guidance system, which made Braun the number one brand amongst doctors [10]. Whereas the tip of other thermometers can cool the area within the ear where the temperature is being measured, resulting in variable readings, the tip on the ThermoScan® 7 is pre-warmed before use, to ensure you enjoy professional accuracy that you can rely on, time and time again. The ExacTemp® guidance system confirms when you have safely secured the thermometer in the correct position with a light and a beep, delivering an accurate reading in just a few seconds.

As well as being supplied in a case for convenient storage, the Braun ThermoScan® 7 has a new front panel display with big screen, night light feature and a memory function to store the last nine temperature readings. New BPA and latex-free disposable hygienic probe covers are also available. Designed so you can easily switch between users, each disposable probe cover helps maintain consistent accuracy by making sure any earwax or dirt left on the tip after use is removed and does not interfere with the reading.

Age range: Suitable from newborn

RRP: £49.99

Stockists: Available from Boots


Braun’s No touch + forehead thermometer (NTF3000) – the first thermometer with both no touch and touch functions

As the only thermometer to offer both a ‘touch’ and ‘no touch’ technology, Braun’s No touch + forehead thermometer offers parents clinically proven accuracy while also being very gentle to use. Depending on which mode works best for you and your little one, you can either place the thermometer directly on your child’s forehead in ‘touch’ mode or can hold it up to 5cm away in ‘no touch’ mode – perfect for when your baby or child is sleeping and you don’t want to wake them. For self-measurement, we recommend using the touch mode.

Additionally, the patented proximity sensor helps you to guide the thermometer onto your child’s forehead at the correct distance of up to 5cm away. However, it is important that you follow the manual to make sure you get a high accuracy measurement. E.g. make sure the external factors are not interfering with the temperature of the forehead skin (e.g. fringe, hat, warm cloth, and coming from outdoor). In addition, make sure you measure at the right location, on forehead, in between the eyebrows.

Featuring an ultra-sensitive sensor with an innovative optical system, it allows the No touch + forehead thermometer to capture twice as much radiated heat than other traditional forehead thermometers without an optical system [11].

The simple colour indicator also makes interpreting the results simple. The screen displays green if no fever, yellow if the temperature is elevated and red alert for a possibly high fever. Extra audible beeps – which can be turned off for during the night – accompany the visual indicator for temperatures above 37.4°C.

Age range: Suitable from newborn

RRP: £52.99

Stockists: Available at Asda, Boots and all good baby specialist retailers


For further product details visit


[1] Ipsos, online study among 803 GPs and Pediatricians in four European markets, June 2012.

[2] Survey of 1021 parents found that 564 start to lower their child’s temperature between 37.5-38.5°C. Survey conducted by Research Now in the UK on 13th May 2015. 92% of doctors recommend lowering a child’s temperature through medication between 38-40°C. Physicians’, nurses’, and parents’ attitudes to and knowledge about fever in early childhood. M Sarrel, H A Cohen, E Kahan. Patient Education and Counseling 46 (2002) 61-65.

[4] Crocetti M., Moghbeli N., Serwint J. Fever phobia revisited: have parental misconceptions about fever changed in 20 years? Pediatrics. 2001 Jun;107(6):1241-6.

[6] Survey of 1021 parents found that 254 parents administrate medication when their child is suffering from a temperature lower than 38.5°C. Survey conducted by Research Now in the UK on 13th May 2015.

[7] American Academy of Pediatrics. Guidance for the Clinician in Rendering Pediatric Care. Clinical report – Fever and Antipyretic Use in Children, Janice. E. Sullivan, MD, Henry C. Farrar, MD and the Section on clinical pharmacology and therapeutics, and Commettee on drug. Page 580-587.

[8] 92% of doctors recommend lowering a child’s temperature through medication between 38-40°C. Physicians’, nurses’, and parents’ attitudes to and knowledge about fever in early childhood. M Sarrel, H A Cohen, E Kahan. Patient Education and Counseling 46 (2002) 61-65.

[10 ]Ipsos, online study among 803 GPs and Pediatricians in four European markets, June 2012.
[11] Gorsich, J., Supporting Calculations: ‘Innovative technology captures twice as much body heat compared to traditional forehead products’, 2014.