How Accurate is Your Baby Thermometer?

infrared baby thermometer

How accurate is your baby


– Tips & advice!


What’s the difference between a digital ear and a forehead thermometer? Is a rectal thermometer more accurate than a thermometer taken by mouth? Is an underarm thermometer right for babies and toddlers? How accurate are these temperatures displayed in digital and infrared thermometers?

These are just some of the questions you are probably thinking if you are trying to choose the best baby thermometer for your children. Keeping a digital thermometer handy is important as taking temperature from time to time helps indicate if baby’s sickness is to be treated at home or if you need to take bub to the hospital or doctors. Most babies will get sick sometime during their first year but many parents can not really tell if the baby is having a fever.
Back in the days, a glass mercury thermometer was once a staple in first aid kits and medicine cabinets. However, it is no longer advisable to use a mercury thermometer as mercury could be toxic to humans when a thermometer leaks. When choosing a thermometer, a digital or an infrared thermometer is now considered the best option. But before you start to shop for a digital or infrared thermometer, let us first discuss the difference between a common digital thermometer and an infrared thermometer:
Digital thermometers

This particular type of thermometer uses electronic heat sensors to record body temperature. Digital thermometers can be used in the rectum (rectal), mouth (oral) or armpit (axillary). Armpit temperatures are typically the least accurate of the three.

Digital ear thermometers

This particular type of thermometer uses an infrared scanner to measure the temperature inside the ear canal. But do remember that earwax or a small, curved ear canal can interfere with the accuracy of an ear thermometer temperature.

Temporal artery thermometers

This particular type of thermometer uses an infrared scanner to measure the temperature of the temporal artery in the forehead. This type of thermometer can be used even while a child is asleep.

Digital pacifier thermometers

This particular type of thermometer has a digital sensor which records peak temperature. Your child simply sucks on the pacifier until the peak temperature is recorded. However, digital pacifier thermometers aren’t recommended for newborns. For the most accurate reading, your child must hold the pacifier still in his or her mouth for about three to five minutes which is often difficult for some hyperactive babies.

Basically, a rectal temperature is some 0.5 degrees Celsius higher than while an underarm temperature is 0.5 degrees lower than measurements taken by orally. Meanwhile, Ear temperatures are a completely different method again and can be up to 0.6 degrees Celsius higher than an oral temperature.

WHICH IS THE BEST thermometer for babies and toddlers?
For a newborn baby, specifically the first three months,  the best digital thermometer to choose from is a rectal thermometer. The goal of taking an accurate temperature reading is to assess how warm it is inside of the body. This means that the most accurate measurement will be one taken inside the body, which means rectally especially for newborns. While ear and forehead thermometers are also accurate and could be used double checking with a rectal thermometer is advised b most doctors.
A pacifier or dummy thermometer could also be best for those aged 2 months up to 3 years old. The Cherub Dummy Thermometer has been a trusted brand for many others. It has been awarded Product of the Year Award by Baby Maternity Magazine. The dummy thermometer is easy to use, hygienic and comfortable for your little one. Just place in baby’s mouth like a conventional dummy and wait for about 10 seconds until LCD display shows the baby’s temperature.

For babies and children above three months, taking a temperature rectally can be uncomfortable for the baby and difficult for your. An ear and forehead thermometer is therefore usually the most recommended by doctors and pediatricians because it is so reliable and accurate. It is also quick and easy to use. You just have to press a button to let the device know if you are measuring the temperature on the forehead or in the ears. Many doctors however, recommend taking the temperature in the forehead for those below one year old. Also choose the ear or forehead thermometer that is hospital grade and  with fever alarm. This is a big help for parents who are unsure what temperatures are normal for their baby.
Doctors however suggest to watch out for any excess dirt or oil could as it could also throw off the thermometer’s measurements. So, clean the sensor regularly with rubbing alcohol. So generally, the best option for parents is a hospital grade digital ear or a forehead thermometer if you want to use the thermometer for a longer period of time. You can use it as early as the first few weeks after birth and until probably your child turns into an adolescent.

For many Australians, Cherub Baby 4 in 1 Infrared Digital Ear and Forehead thermometer works has been their fever companion as it works without probe covers and is easy to operate, hygienic, comfortable and provides very accurate readings. The 4 in 1 unique design also aside from taking ear and forehead temperature in one second also takes room ambient temperature and has a clock function. This award-winning hospital grade digital thermometer has also been consistently been awarded ( 2012, 2013, 2015 and 2016) for the Best Baby Thermometer in the Mother & Baby Awards. It was also voted as Favourite Baby Thermometer in the My Child Awards 2016. Choice Magazine also reviewed the digital thermometer as a Preferred Thermometer for its “Accurate, Easy to Use, No Bad Points” temperature readings.

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