Most accurate thermometer for a toddler?
I've heard a bunch of different advice when it comes to taking our toddler's temperature. As far as I can tell, the main options are:
- Rectally with a regular digital thermometer.
- Ear, like this Braun model.
- Forehad temporal Artery, like this Exergen model.
- Underarm with a regular digital thermometer.
- Under tongue.
Which do you recommend and why? We've been using the Braun ear model, but when we took our son to the emergency room, they used a temporal artery thermometer (possibly because it's the fastest & easiest?)
It seems as though the in-ear model isn't that accurate, because our younger child regularly reads well below 98.6 when not sick, even after multiple readings.
Our doctor told us not to call unless the fever was more than 101.0, and if the thermometer has an accuracy of +/- 1 degree, it makes me second-guess what we should do.
Feb 3, 2010
We got a Thermofocus no-touch thermometer after our first child was born, based on convenience, no discomfort, and sanitary operation. In our experience, it was not accurate in normal operation and we have resorted to a reliable and cheap rectal digital thermometer.
The Thermofocus, as well as other types of thermometers, must be properly used under the right conditions in order to give accurate readings. And let's face it, what good is a thermometer that doesn't give accurate readings? For example, the Thermofocus requires that the target be flat, dry, clean, unobstructed by hair, and at the proper location on the body corresponding to the selected mode. The unit must also be acclimated to the ambient temperature of the room (so don't let your hand warm it up, nor should you keep it in a pocket near your warm body).
However, you might want trade some accuracy for some convenience. Especially when dealing with older children that are not keen on your instruments in their rear.
I've seen many pediatricians use in-ear thermometers for toddlers, so they must be acceptably accurate. Kids generally seem willing to cooperate as well. Do choose a trusted manufacturer, though.
For babies, don't take chances. Rectal all the way.
We've used the rectal thermometer from the start- and we're sure it's accurate, as it has read the same temp as when we've taken our child to a clinic within an hour. However, it is a total pain for checking more frequently. I was hoping to find that someone recommended an inner ear one or under arm model with some accuracy. Anyone care to update their answer or add a new one?
I think the rectal thermometer is the most accurate, but it's a nuisance to use for a quick check or for frequent checking. The same temperature will read differently when taken orally versus rectally, even though both are accurate, because of the way the body regulates and dissipates temperature.
So are you asking "most accurate" or most accurate AND convenient?
Feb 6, 2010
We generally use the "kiss the forehead" method of taking a temperature unless it is high enough to possibly warrent a trip to the doctor or emergency room. Then, we use the free thermometer we got at the hospital and pin the kid (not so hard when they are that sick) with it under his arm. We had other, fancier thermomters but never used them.
Feb 8, 2010