care thermometer


When a baby is under the weather, the first question a doctor will ask is does the baby have a fever.

As babies and young children often get sick, it is important to have an accurate thermometer at home. It is imperative that the thermometer chosen is easy to use as that is the last thing parents want to try to figure out when their child is ill.

Types of Thermometers

Using an accurate thermometer is critical to a baby’s health. Even a slight temperature that is elevated can indicate an infection or illness. Therefore, careful consideration should be made when purchasing a baby thermometer. In order to get an accurate reading, parents must feel comfortable using the thermometer – there is no baby thermometer that is perfect for everyone.

There are five different types of thermometers: oral, rectal, armpit, forehead and ear. Each type has some age considerations that should not be ignored. Rectal thermometers are recommended for babies that are three months and under as it’s the most accurate of all thermometers. Ear thermometers are good for babies aged six months and older. By this age, the ear canal can accommodate an ear thermometer. Oral thermometers can be used after a child turns 4 or 5 years of age. This is also the turning point when thermometers used for adults can also be used on children.

Digital thermometers have replaced outdated glass mercury thermometers. They have cut down on the time it takes to get an accurate reading and do not spill hazardous mercury when broken. Using a digital thermometer can provide accurate reading under the arm as well as rectally for babies. Of course, there are also digital thermometers that are used orally once a child is old enough.

Another specific type of thermometers that can be used for babies is a pacifier thermometer. This thermometer is in the shape of a pacifier with the thermometer found inside the nipple. Often a digital screen can be found on the front of the pacifier to display the temperature. This type of thermometer is not usually found to give the most accurate readings.

doctor taking a baby's temperature

Brand Names of Thermometers

When it comes to something as important as taking a baby’s temperature, it is best to buy a brand name thermometer. A few of the top brand names of thermometers are: Braun, Safety 1st and American Red Cross.

Braun is a very popular manufacturer of home and health electronics. Braun’s ThermoScan Compact Ear Thermometer is a best-selling thermometer for children. This thermometer is both fast and gentle that is designed to be easy to hold as well as compact. Once a temperature is measured there is a beep to let parents know to take the thermometer out of the ear. Lens filters that are disposable prevents the transfer of germs. This is a top ear thermometer on the market.

Safety 1st produces many different types of thermometers including ones that are: quick read ear, fold up, digital, high speed rectal and with exchangeable tips. Safety 1st Hospital’s Choice Exchangeable Tip 3-in-1 Thermometer can be used orally, rectally as well as under the armpit. As there are three exchangeable tips, there is no worry of cross contamination. This thermometer comes with a storage bag to keep all components together.

American Red Cross is a brand name with thermometers that are made by The First Years. This brand has approximately four types of thermometers. One popular thermometer is the American Red Cross Sanitary Slide Thermometer. This thermometer includes a probe cover that is retractable to keep the thermometer clean.

Price of Thermometers

The price of thermometers can vary significantly depending on the type purchased. Digital thermometers can be found in most drugstores for ten dollars and under. These can be used for older children but are not suitable for younger children and babies. Ear thermometers are known to be the most expensive as they are more technologically advanced. Oral and rectal thermometers are typically the most economical. Some forehead thermometers can be a little bit more expensive but are generally not as expensive as ear thermometers.