Now you and I have no problem popping a thermometer in the mouth to check if we’re running a temperature but it is hardly possible to do the same for a small baby who appears to be flushed, fretful, cranky, and ill at ease and seems warm as well.
A baby thermometer is required in order that you are able to accurately report to a doctor your baby’s temperature and to know if medication is required.
The mercury thermometer: This is the one that most of us grew up using, and it is usually the most accurate in telling the temperature.
It cannot be used in the baby’s mouth for obvious reasons and should always be used by putting in the axilla or the armpit.
However, there is always the danger posed by the presence of mercury in the thermometer and its high toxicity, which makes it the wrong choice for many parents.
Digital Thermometers: With these, there are many brands that may offer wide fluctuation of temperature or may offer inaccurate measurements of temperature. So be very careful of selecting one that is a good and reliable brand. Oral ones are also available.
The strip thermometer: This one is placed on the baby’s forehead and will change color or show the temperature reading. However, the presence of sweat and other factors may cause the reading to be inaccurate at times. This product on Amazon, a strip thermometer has good reviews.
The rectal thermometer: These thermometers have to be inserted in the rectum of the baby and offer accurate readings in as little as 10 seconds. They can be used even for newborn infants.
You need to use some lubricant before inserting and can be used safely by following instructions and not inserting it too deep.
Many children, particular slightly older children however find this invasive and uncomfortable so it may not be suitable for very long. This Vicks rectal thermometer available on Amazon has good user reviews.
The ear thermometer: This is the sort of thermometer that gives a digital temperature reading when placed in the baby’s ear. These offer fairly quick and accurate temperature readings.
Many of these thermometers, particularly the digital ones can give highly fluctuating reading and may be inconsistent in some brands and in particular there may be a lot of errors when reading children’s temperature.
Ask your pediatrician which is the best kind, because these will give an accurate and quick reading of the baby’s temperature.