Dangers of cheap thermometers highlighted after shop sells faulty goods

Dangerously unsafe digital thermometers found amongst other health products on sale at Poundworld

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Mums are being urged to avoid buying cheap medical products, such as digital thermometers, after Poundworld was found to be selling thermometers that gave inaccurate readings.

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The thermometers were not CE marked, which shows that the product meets British standards, and also didn’t have clear instructions, appropriate warnings or precautions. The Aidfast, 1st Aid and Powerplast thermometers were found to give inaccurate readings with an error of up to 0.5C, which could be very dangerous when used on a small child.

Having an accurate reading of your child’s temperature is an important part of being able to react to a serious illness. Although basic body temperature varies, the usual range is from 36C to 36.8C. In children under five, a fever is over 37.5C and in children five or over, a fever is 38C. Therefore, inaccuracy of 0.5C is a dangerous risk.

The high street discount retailer apparently ignored warnings to remove faulty thermometers from their shelves last year, said the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). Other unsatisfactory medical items found on sale included bandages, plasters and sterile dressings.

Poundworld has been fined £5,000 for selling damaged and potentially dangerous medical items and required to pay £9,000 court costs.

“Poundworld has shown a severe disregard for public health. The defective thermometers are not compliant with British legislation, meaning there is no assurance that they meet appropriate standards of safety,” said Peter Commins from MHRA.

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Always look for the CE mark on medical goods (it’s a black C and E), so you know you can trust these important items.

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