Some people might think that thermometers are all the same and that they don’t need to buy the best baby thermometer out there to use at home when their babies are running a fever. But you’d be surprised to learn that a regular adult thermometer may not be the best thing to use to try and take your baby’s temperature.
Types of Baby Thermometers
Do you remember those glass thermometers your parents or doctor stuck under your armpit or in your mouth whenever you had a fever when you were a kid? Nowadays, those thermometers aren’t used all that much anymore, and for good reason: they contain mercury, which can harm you if the thermometer breaks. In fact, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that you dispose of old mercury thermometers and get a digital one instead.
A digital one has a small LCD screen that displays the temperature reading and has a start button you can press to let it begin doing its job. But which baby digital thermometer should you get? There are several types available.
There’s the oral thermometer that you place in your baby’s mouth, the baby thermometer for the forehead or armpit, the tympanic thermometer that you place in your baby’s ear, and the rectal thermometer for babies.
Keep in mind, though, that the most expensive thermometers out there are not necessarily the best ones. Many of them have extra features that you might not need or even want.
Things to Consider When Buying a Baby Digital Thermometer
One feature that is absolutely necessary for any thermometer is accuracy. This is especially true in the case of very young infants, where even a tenth of a degree in temperature change is very important. A temperature of 100.4 degrees, for example, might not seem all that different from a temperature of 100.3 degrees, but when it comes to babies, it can mean a whole lot.
So keep the following things in mind to help you focus on the accuracy issue when shopping for a thermometer for your baby:
* Tests show that forehead thermometers are not very accurate when used on children below three years old
* A baby ear thermometer can take some maneuvering before it gives an accurate reading since it has to be aligned perfectly in the ear canal; something that can be difficult to do with a struggling or restive child.
* An oral thermometer may not be very accurate for young kids below the age of three because it tends to show a lower reading compared to a rectal thermometer.
To find an effective thermometer for your baby, one thing you can do is to ask your pediatrician for his or her recommendation. Another thing you can do is to view consumer reports and ratings about which thermometer they have found to work the best for them.
Best 3 Baby Thermometers by Reviews and Ratings
1. Braun Thermoscan Ear Thermometer with ExacTemp Technology
Even though this product’s name says it is a baby ear thermometer, it can also be used orally, rectally, or under the arm. The manufacturer claims the ear reflects body temperature changes more accurately than in other areas of the body, and many consumers seem to agree that this device does its job excellently. Other things they like about this Braun thermometer:
* The flashing light and beeping sound confirm if the thermometer is in the right position
* The pre-heated tip makes it feel more comfortable to the baby’s ear
* It has a memory function that stores up to eight readings so you can better keep track of changes in your baby’s temperature
* It warns you when the thermometer’s battery supply is about to run out
* The lens filters makes readings more accurate and ensure that the device remains sanitary
2. Kidz-Med 5-in-1 Non-Contact Thermometer
As the name states, you do not even have to touch or disturb your baby when you use this thermometer to see if he or she has a fever. Such devices are also known as infrared thermometers, and all you need to do is to point one end at a baby’s forehead from the proper distance to get a reading. You can also use it as a baby room thermometer or a baby bath thermometer. Some of its features that consumers appreciate are:
* Its accuracy. One reviewer even measured it using calibrated test equipment and found it to give accurate temperature readings.
* It is easy to use and operate with one hand
* It has a quick-start guide and the instructions are easy to follow
* Its backlight changes color, making it convenient and easy to use even in the dark
* Easy to switch between Celsius and Fahrenheit
3. Vicks Baby Rectal Thermometer
Inexpensive, simple to use and effective – these are the main things consumers like about this rectal thermometer. It is suitable for newborn babies and young children up to three years old, has a large backlit LCD display, and comes with a lifetime warranty. Here are some positive things consumers say about this device:
* The short tip ensures you do not insert it too far
* It gives fast and accurate readings
* It is simple and straightforward to use
* Many reviewers call it the best rectal thermometer for babies
We recommend you take a look at the products above if you are looking for an accurate measurement device. As will see, they have among the best baby thermometer reviews online on sites like Amazon.com. The right one will give you peace of mind that you are taking an accurate reading and that you are helping yourself and your pediatrician take the proper steps toward managing your baby’s fever.