26
Sep

Baby thermometer buying guide

With all the different types of thermometers on the market, it is difficult to know which would be best suited for your child while reducing the stress on mom and dad. The best baby thermometers range in price, location of use, and accuracy. It is always good to ask your pediatrician for his/her recommendation for your individual child’s needs.

1. Mercury Rectal Thermometers

How to Use:

After coating the bulb of the thermometer with petroleum jelly, gently insert the tip of the thermometer up to one inch into the child’s rectum. Hold firmly in place for at least 3 minutes. It is recommended that this type of thermometer be used for children under 2 years of age.

Pros and Cons:

This thermometer is the overwhelming choice of pediatricians for young children, but it can pop out if the child squirms. It is sometimes difficult to read, and its glass construction makes is fragile. However, the rectal mercury thermometer gives the most accurate reading of all thermometers for home use.

2. Oral Mercury Thermometers

How to Use:

The bulb of the thermometer is inserted under the child’s tongue toward the back of the mouth for at least 3 minutes. Be certain that your child has not had anything hot or cold to drink immediately prior to inserting the thermometer in his/her mouth, as it will alter the temperature results. It is recommended that this type of thermometer is used for children 3 years of age and older.

Pros and Cons:

Although it is considered fragile and hard to read, it is considered the best choice for older children.

3. Ear Thermometer

How to Use:

Gently pull your child’s ear back and up while inserting the probe gently, but snugly into the ear canal. A reading appears approximately 2 seconds later. This type of thermometer is not recommended for children under the age of 1 year since it is often difficult to get an accurate reading.

Pros and Cons:

Although this technique can be tricky on a squirming child, this type of thermometer is known to be highly accurate and quick. One drawback with this type of thermometer is the cost, especially when you compare it to the reliable oral mercury thermometers.

4. Pacifier Thermometer

How to Use:

Place the pacifier thermometer in the baby’s mouth and leave it in the child’s mouth until the alarm beeps in approximately 3 minutes. The age for this type of thermometer is under 2 years.

Pros and Cons:

Although this thermometer accuracy has been questioned, its digital read out is easy to read, and there is less trauma for the baby.

5. Digital Underarm Thermometer

How to Use:

Gently place the thermometer probe into your child’s armpit and firmly hold against the skin with your child’s arm down against his/her body until the alarm sounds. This type of thermometer can be used for children of all ages.

Pros and Cons:

Accuracy with this thermometer can vary. However, the digital display is simple to read and this technique is very tolerable to the child.

6. Digital Rectal/Oral Thermometer

How to Use:

This type of thermometer can be used either rectally or orally. These thermometers are similar in use and application to the mercury based thermometers. Gently insert the thermometer rectally no more than 1 inch into your child’s rectum, or under your child’s tongue. The reading is complete when the thermometer beeps. The age range for use as a rectal thermometer is less than 2 years of age and for oral use, it is recommended that the child be at least 3 years of age.

Pros and Cons:

Although this type of thermometer is considered to be less accurate than the mercury based thermometers, it is both easier to read, and difficult to break.