Unless your family is extremely lucky, your child will get sick several times throughout his childhood. When your baby gets sick, he isn’t always able to let you know what is wrong. Babies tend to cry and cry, unable to do anything else to express their discomfort. One of the best ways to determine if something is wrong with your child is to use the best baby thermometer.
Every parent needs to have a thermometer in your medicine cabinet. A thermometer isn’t a want; it is a true need! While you could buy any thermometer, there are some that are better than others. It is easier, with infants, to purchase a thermometer that is meant for babies. There are some that are more accurate than others!
Types of Baby Thermometers
When you search in the stores, there are a variety of types of thermometer. Let’s take a look at the different types and how they compare.
- Rectal Thermometers: If you are like me, you immediately cringe at the idea of using a rectal thermometer. It is, by far, the most accurate way to take your child’s temperature. However, the process is uncomfortable for your baby and you. Rectal thermometers are a great purchase, especially as his fever starts to creep upwards. When you buy this type of thermometer, a flexible tip and a wide base are the two most important features. The flexible tip makes it gentler on your child, and the wide base ensures you don’t insert it too far, which is dangerous.
- Temporal Artery Thermometers: The newest thermometer on the market are forehead, or temporal artery, thermometers. You will notice they are more expensive than other choices, but the convenience is worth the cost. Using infrared technology, you move the thermometer across your child’s forehead, scanning and measuring your child’s temperature.
Convenience is the key reason to purchase a temporal artery thermometer. You don’t have to touch your child’s head, so you can use it while they snooze, a vital key to healing. Forehead thermometers are the safest option as well. Chances are you noticed them in hospitals and doctors’ offices. At one time, they were only used for children older than three months old, but there are ones for younger babies.
Also, the temperature variations of the room you are in could give you an inaccurate reading. If you are moving from room to room with a noticeable temperature difference, give the thermometer time to adjust. Some parents also have trouble learning how to use these appropriately. Many people forget to take off the cap and can’t understand why it won’t work properly!
- Ear Canal Thermometers: If you want another choice for a non-invasive thermometer, thermometers placed into the ear are easy to use and won’t disturb your baby. Ideally, you would opt to use these for kids over 12 months old because their ear canals aren’t wide enough. If they aren’t put in the right spot inside of the ear canal, the reading won’t be as accurate. It is a great purchase for older infants and toddlers!
- Armpit Thermometer: While taking your child’s temperature under their armpit is considered the least accurate method, it is also the least invasive method. These are not the best choice, but they are cheap.
- Oral Thermometers: Everyone has memories of sitting with a thermometer in their mouth waiting for the timer to be finished, especially with hopes of ditching school for the day. Oral thermometers are easy to use, safe, and accurate. However, you can’t use them for babies. It is best to wait until your child is three or four years old before giving them a try to ensure an accurate reading.
- Pacifier Thermometer: On the store shelves, you might notice an attract style of thermometers – a pacifier. In theory, it seems like a fantastic idea. However, they are known for giving inaccurate readings and not recommended by pediatricians. Even though your child might love a pacifier, you are unlike to get the right temperature, defeating the entire process of taking his temperature.
What is the Best Baby Thermometer for You?
There are a few things to consider before deciding the perfect thermometer for your child.
- Where you want to measure the temperature
- Age of your child
- Cooperation level – individual based on your child’s energy level and personality
Besides oral thermometers, you can use most of them for any age group, but doctors do recommend using a rectal thermometer if your child is under the age of six months old.
- Age 0 to 2 years old: preferred option is rectal reading, then an auxiliary reading. Most pediatricians recommend a rectal thermometer for infants because of its accuracy level. It is crucial that you get an accurate temperature reading to ensure your child is fine. Infants can have seizures easier than older kids when a fever reaches too high. A second choice would be a forehead thermometer because it is still accurate. If you want to use this for your primary option, keep a rectal thermometer on hand so you can double check accuracy.
- Age 2 to 5 years old: preferred option is rectal reading, then tympanic reading, finally an auxiliary reading. Chances are you won’t convince your five-year-old to allow you to use a rectal thermometer. A temporal artery thermometer is recommended for this age if you can learn how to use it correctly. They are used in hospitals, so you can be sure that they are trustworthy. Always read the instructions!
It isn’t as difficult as it might seem. First, put it in the center of your child’s forehead. Push the button and swipe it across your temple. If it is working correctly, you will hear a beep, letting you know that the reading is accurate.
- Ages 5 and up: preferred option is oral readings, then a tympanic reading, and finally an auxiliary reading. For older children, an oral thermometer gives the most accurate reading. You could opt for a forehead thermometer or ear canal as well! The great thing about taking the temperature of an older child is that almost all methods deliver accuracy. You could even opt for an armpit reading, so long as you add one degree to the measurement.
Note about Mercury
As you search your grandmother’s medicine cabinet, there is a chance you will stumble upon an older mercury thermometer. These were very common for decades, but now we know that they should be avoided. If the thermometer breaks, the mercury can vaporize, creating toxic fumes in the air around your child. You won’t find them in the stores because doctors have advised against them for years. If you find one, side with caution and toss it out!
Choices for the Best Baby Thermometer
Let’s take a look at the options you have available!
Innovo Forehead and Ear Thermometer with Improved Accuracy
Every parent needs to have a forehead thermometer in their arsenal. The Innovo is the only thermometer that you will ever need. It can measure temperatures via the forehead (perfect for all ages), and the ear thermometer (for anyone over the age of one year old). You have the ability to use whatever mode you desire, and it works perfectly on adults as well.
Innovo uses infrared technology that gives you a reliable and accurate temperature every single time. When your child’s temperature exceeds 99.5 F, it lets out seven rapid short beeps with a flickering light. Innovo thought of nearly everything, meeting and exceeding FDA standards. The thermometer is ergonomically designed to be user-friendly and easy to use, comfortable for both the user and the child.
Parents love the Innovo for a variety of reasons. At one time, this thermometer was available only for doctors, but now it is available for public purchase. The upgrade software allows you to take multiple temperatures without waiting. It can recall up to 20 readings so that you can keep track of your child’s illness. You will love it, even though the price is closer to $40.
Braun Ear Thermometer LF 40
One of the highest rated ear canal thermometers is by Braun. For a little under $40, you get a reliable, trustworthy, and accurate thermometer. Created with ExacTemp Technology, it has important features that make it a common choice for doctors’ offices.
The ThermoScan feature is loved by parentings and children, including a pre-warmed tip. It increases the accuracy and enhances the precisions. A warmer tip decreases the cooling effect on the ear canal because you put a cool or room thermometer tip into your child’s ear. Best of all, the infrared technology takes your child’s temperature in only a few seconds, perfect for displeased child.
Each box includes 21 lens filters. It is important that you use a clean lens filter each time you use your thermometer. Len filters protect the tip of the thermometer from being scratched. It is also important that parents store it in a protective case.
However, there are a few negatives to consider. The most obvious is that here is no display backlight. So, if you are using it in the dark, you won’t be able to see the reading. This negative is the most obvious and noted; it makes taking care of your sick child at night rather difficult. Also, it only stores one previous temperature. If you want to keep track of your child’s temperatures to watch for a trend, you will have to write it down.
Despite the negatives, parents love that it gives accurate writings considered to other ear canal thermometers. In general, you can expect it to be within 0.2 degrees of accuracy. You can switch between Fahrenheit and Celsius with ease. If you want just an ear canal thermometer, the Braun Ear Thermometer is the way to go.
Easy at Home 3-in-1 Non-Contact Infrared Forehead Thermometer
Do you want an advanced infrared technology thermometer that doesn’t require any contact? The Easy at Home 3-in-1 is the way to go! You never have to wait for a temperature reading. It shows up in less than one second. Plus, you don’t even have to disturb your child as they sleep off their illness, nor do you have to battle a squirmy toddler. This feature is top of the line and one of the top reasons that parents pick it above others.
No contact also has other benefits. You never have to worry about cross contamination. If both of your kids are sick, you can use it for both without any concern. The thermometer isn’t totally silent though. If your child has a temperature, it will let out an alert, that you can shut off if you don’t want to disturb your child as he sleeps.
The LCD screen changes colors based on your child’s temperature, even if you shut off the beeping alarm. This feature makes it even easier to check on your child in the middle of night.
- Green – 99.1 F or less
- Yellow – 99.2 to 100.2
- Red – 100.4 and up
Using the thermometer is very easy. First, move away any hair on your child’s forehead and wipe off perspiration. Aim the thermometer at the center of your child’s forehead in the “body” mode, which is also the thermometers default mode. Hold it between an inch and a half and two inches away from your child’s skin. Then, press the scan button and wait for a second or two for the reading to flash on the screen.
There are plenty of reasons why you would want to purchase the Easy at Home Thermometer. It holds up to the last 32 readings, allowing you to track your child’s sickness. An automatic power-off shuts the thermometer off after 30 seconds to help conserve energy. You should be able to use it up to 40,000 times before having to change the batteries.
iProven Best Digital Medical Thermometer
Everyone needs an affordable auxiliary thermometer that is fast and accurate. iProven sells a variety of thermometers, and their digital is one of the best! The biggest downside of most thermometers is that they take forever to show a reading. iProven gives you a reading after 10 seconds, a reasonable amount of time. Not only is it fast, but this oral and rectal thermometer is also very accurate, up to 1/10 of a degree!
There are many other reasons to purchase the iProven Best Digital Medical Thermometer. It has a flexible tip, an important quality if you are taking a rectal temperature. A flexible tip is also more comfortable for oral temperatures. The entire thermometer is waterproof, so cleaning after each use is simple.
iProven included a new feature – fever indication. It can be hard to decide if you should worry or treat the fever. There are three different smiley faces that let you know if a fever was detected or if your child is good to go. If there is a fever, a fever alarm alerts you. Also, the display will show you the prior measurement, helping you keep track of the illness.
If you are looking for an auxiliary thermometer that is affordable, you can be sure that the iProven Digital Thermometer is one of the best options. Plus, it is at a price that won’t blow your budget, allowing you to purchase this as your backup thermometer.
Safety 1st Gentle Read Rectal Thermometer
No one wants to spend a fortune on a rectal thermometer. Safety 1st makes one of the most popular choices, and it costs less than $10, a bargain. The thermometer gives a fast reading, around five to six seconds. It is easy to wash and clean after each use. The flexible tip and base guard allows parents to use it with ease and properly, without harming your child.
Of course, you don’t just have to use it for rectal temperatures, but you don’t want to use it for any other applications. That is gross. Parents prefer this choice over other thermometers because it is so easy to use. There are no settings to try to understand. You turn it on, take the temperature, read it, then turn it off. If you want just a cheap thermometer to use for your younger infants, the Safety 1st Gentle Read Rectal Thermometer is the way to go.
Clinical Digital Thermometer
Perhaps you are looking for a cheaper thermometer that measures auxiliary temperatures. The Clinical Digital is ideal for infants, kids, and adults. You can use it under the armpit, orally, and rectally. Using the Generation’s Guard microchip, it is sensitive, detecting your child’s temperature with accuracy and reliability.
The Clinical Digital Thermometer is a great choice for parents with newborn babies because it is ideal for rectal use. The tip of it is flexible and soft, and the base gets wider, so you won’t insert it too far. Parents don’t have to worry that they may harm their baby.
More than just parents rave about it. Because of its dependability, it is used in medical clinics, schools, and even on farms. All you have to do is it turn it on, put it in the base of your mouth, armpit or insert rectally, and wait about 15 seconds for the result. There are no difficult settings to understand. Once you are finished, clean it off and store it in the included plastic case.
You might wonder why you would want to purchase such a simple thermometer that takes so long to get a reading. The price is excellent, costing less than $15. If you want a backup choice or a thermometer that you can use while traveling, the Clinical Digital Thermometer fits all of the necessary qualities.
Cleaning a Child’s Thermometer
You might have one child or several. No matter how many you have, you are going to need to clean your thermometer after each use. It is best to take a few seconds after each use, especially if you are using a rectal or oral thermometer. Make sure to read directions because some digital and electronic thermometers may not be able to be immersed in water.
- Soap and Water – The most common way to clean up a thermometer is with simple soap and water. You can wash the tip with soap and water if it comes in contact with your child’s mouth, ear, armpit, and rectum.
- Alcohol – Keep a box of alcohol wipes in your medicine cabinet. 70% isopropyl alcohol is perfect; just wipe it down. Remember to rinse it off before putting in your child’s mouth, or you could rinse and dry it before putting it away!
When to Seek Medical Treatment
Parents need to know when to seek help from a doctor. A fever isn’t necessarily a bad thing, and it doesn’t always need treatment. However, it is better to be safe than to miss a problem and suffer worse consequences. Here is what to look for before making a phone call.
- A forehead, ear or rectal temperature that is higher than 100.4 F.
- An oral temperature is higher than 100 F.
- An armpit temperature is higher than 99 F. Remember, armpit temperatures are inaccurate. You should have another choice to confirm a high temperature.
You need to have a quality, reliable baby thermometer in your home at all times. You never know when an illness will strike. At times, you could be the one that is hit with an illness. Unfortunately, parents are still vulnerable to sicknesses, even if it should be illegal.
With all of the different choices available, you are more than likely wondering which one of these is the right for you. The best baby thermometer is that one that performs all of the functions necessary for your family quickly and accurately. You have to consider the factors of your individual family. The age of your child is the most important; infants require different considerations. You also want to think about how many children you have and the easiest way to take temperatures in your home. Using these qualifications help to narrow down the process, sooner rather than later because the purchase of a thermometer is a necessity.