Guide To The Best Fever Thermometers For Babies

Taking your baby's temperature can be done in a number of different ways. This article reviews several different types of thermometers and explains how to use them.

When you think your baby is sick, life can be stressful. You want to make sure that when you take your baby's temperature that you are doing it correctly and the reading is accurate. There are several different types of thermometers designed to take your baby's temperature.

First of all, safety is extremely important when checking your child's temperature. Always make sure the thermometer you use is clean. Follow the instructions that come with the thermometer on how to ensure cleanliness. When using a checking a baby's temperature, never use a mercury thermometer. A mercury thermometer is easy to spot as it is made of glass with a silvery liquid inside and has a silver bulb. Mercury is toxic, and the thermometer could have a leak that you can't detect. Never throw away a mercury thermometer in your trash as it can contaminate the landfill and water supply. If you have a mercury thermometer in your home, please contact your local waste disposal company for how to properly dispose of it.

There are several types of thermometers available today. The digital thermometer is the least expensive and the most accurate. Ear thermometers are also widely available; however these are usually fairly expensive. Pacifier thermometers are often preferred by new parents. There are also temporal artery thermometers, which are also expensive.



A digital thermometer is the most common way to take a baby's temperature. It is also the least expensive, often costing under $10. This thermometer can be used rectally, under the arm, and orally. There are also special digital thermometers sold only for rectal, armpit, or oral use. Most digital thermometers give readings fairly quickly, some even within a few seconds. Some beep when complete so parents can be sure of a correct reading. Please read the instructions that accompany the thermometer for complete instructions.

The most accurate way to take a baby's temperature with a digital thermometer is rectally. Many doctors also prefer this method. Unfortunately, this the least favored way among new parents to take their child's temperature. It is awkward, and parents worry about hurting their child if he/she is moving around a lot. Most digital thermometers can be used rectally. There are some thermometers that come with a flexible tip so they are easier to use rectally. Once a thermometer has been used rectally that is the only way it should be used, so be sure to label it appropriately. When checking your baby's temperature rectally, make sure to lubricate the end of the thermometer with Vaseline or petroleum jelly. Gently insert the thermometer in the rectum only a quarter of an inch. Check the instructions that came with your thermometer on how long until you get a reading. Normal rectal body temperature is 99.1ºF to 99.6ºF.

Another way to check a baby's temperature with a digital thermometer is in the armpit (axillary) and orally. This is less accurate than the rectal method, but easier and less intrusive for the baby and the parents. When checking a baby's temperature in the armpit, hold the thermometer perpendicular to baby's body and hold arm down against the body. A normal axillary temperature is 97.6 ºF to 98.1 ºF.

Taking a baby's temperature orally with a normal digital thermometer can be difficult. Often baby will not keep his/her mouth closed long enough for an accurate reading. A better way to take baby's temperature orally is with a pacifier thermometer. Of course, your baby has to take a pacifier for this method to be effective. Some parents find this method takes too long, but others find it works quickly. Please follow the instructions that come with the pacifier thermometer. Normal oral temperature is 98.6ºF.

Many parents use an ear (tympanic) thermometer due to quickness and ease of use. However, these are difficult to use correctly, so they may not provide an accurate reading. These are also expensive, with some costing over $50. Follow the instructions that came with this thermometer carefully. Normal tympanic temperature is 99.1ºF to 99.6ºF.

The newest type of thermometer is the temporal artery thermometer. This type of thermometer takes a baby's temperature on the forehead. The parent simply wipes the thermometer slowly across the baby's hairline. A reading is available in a few seconds. The manufacturer states that this thermometer is as accurate as a rectal thermometer. This type of thermometer is the most expensive, costing as much as $60 or more. Many parents prefer this type because you can use it without waking up baby.

When your baby is sick it is important to take his temperature accurately. What type of thermometer you use often depends on your baby and which type works best for him or her. Also follow your doctor's guidelines as to which type of thermometer to use. Whichever type of thermometer you use, please follow the instructions carefully.

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