I spend much of my working time seeing unwell children in a busy A and E department. Parents are always keen to tell me how high their child’s temperature is but I am far more interested in the child’s heart rate. Once they are over 6 months old, temperature is of no use at all as a marker of how sick the child is. Both heart rate and respiratory rate are much more important. When my own children are unwell I take their heart rates and don’t bother with the thermometer that my non-medical husband bought at some point and is now lost I think. Heart rate went into the 2013 National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence guideline on the assessement of children under 5 with a fever but no-one seems to have thought to tell the nation’s parents how important it is. So click here for my guide to how to measure your child’s heart rate and respiratory rate. Do leave comments below.