Most babies will get sick during their first months. To know wether your baby is sick you should buy a good an accurate thermometer. A baby thermometer monitors child’s body temperature. It functions like all thermometers but it takes baby’s temperature more accurate. You can’t use any old thermometer. It is important to use one appropriate for infant use to ensure it will give accurate temperature.
There are different types of thermometers, here we explain all of them:
Using a rectal thermometer is the most accurate way to check a baby’s temperature. Obviously they are uncomfortable, but they are vital for checking the temperature of infants. If you buy one of these, look for one that has a flexible tip and a wide base; these features prevent you from inserting the thermometer too far, which is dangerous.
They are safe and easy to use, and give generally accurate readings. They simply are placed under the tongue for a few moments. These are a good choice for children over 4 years old.
Axillary thermometer are also known as armpit thermometer. They are the least accurate, but are also the least-invasive. They are the better choice if you want to go with something cheap and non-invasive, an under-the-tongue digital thermometer.
Ear thermometers take a baby’s temperature quickly by sensing the infrared heat that comes from the inside of the ear. They are a common option because they are not very invasive and really easy to use.
However, to get an accurate reading you should insert it correctly. Besides, the size must be appropriate for the baby’s ear canal and the ear must be clear of wax build-up. Professionals only recommend to use a ear thermometer with children older than 12 months as their canals may be too narrow to get a proper reading.
Temporal artery Thermometer
They are also known as ‘forehead themometers’. This kind of thermometers are the newest and they’re also the most expensive. They use infrared technology to scan and measure the temperature of the temporal artery on the forehead. They’re not only accurate, but they are the safest and most convenient. These thermometers were only used on children 3 months and older, but research showed that they were accurate for any age. However, for children under 3 months, parents should double-check with a rectal thermometer.
There are also the forehead strip thermometers that are different from the temporal artery thermometer. These are disposable plastic strips that you place on a baby’s forehead, which then displays a temperature reading. These are inaccurate and should not be relied upon to dictate serious medical decisions.
This is a pacifier with a digital temperature read-out on the front. They are meant for young babies but they are not recommended by medical professionals as they don’t give very accurate readings. Avoid this product and choose another type of thermometer.
In the following chart we recommend the type of thermometer you should use depending on your child’s age:
|0-3 months||3 months – 3 years||4 years – 5 years||5 years|
Important safety notes
Do not use Mercury Thermometers
Mercury thermometers used to be very common but now you should avoid using them because they are potentially dangerous. If the thermometer breaks, it can cause the mercury inside can vaporize, which leads to toxic fumes.
Don’t take your child’s temperature right after a bath
Soaking in warm water can raise body temperature for up to an hour, so don’t take your child’s temperature right after a bath. If you have a baby under 4 months or a child of any age who seems sick, however, don’t wait to take his temperature. Call your doctor or seek medical attention right away.
If you have a multiuse thermometer, designate it for just one area (rectal, oral, or under the arm) to avoid spreading bacteria.
Follow the instructions
Always follow the directions for the thermometer carefully.