Rosy cheeks, sweat and uncharacteristic lethargy are all tell-tale signs that your child might be coming down with something. While pressing the back of your hand or kissing the top of your baby’s forehead will let you know if your child is warm, the best way to find out if your little one’s running a fever is to take their temperature via a thermometer. Thermometers provide specific numbers to act on, and experts suggest using ear thermometers for the most accurate results.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), ear thermometers — also referred to as tympanic thermometers — are digital handheld devices. They’re known for providing accurate results quickly, but in order to do so, need to be inserted in a specific way. First, gently pull the ear slightly backward and place the thermometer in the ear canal aimed toward the child’s eye on the opposite side of the head. This is so the thermometer can accurately read your child’s core temperature. It can take some getting used to but once you’ve gotten the hang of it, ear thermometers are an excellent device to have in the house for the entire family’s benefit. Make sure you have one of these top picks at the ready in your medicine cabinet.
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1. Goodbaby Ear Thermometer
Watching your infant battle a fever can be anxiety-inducing but Goodbaby’s thermometer takes the stress out of (obsessively) monitoring it. The two-in-one device uses infrared technology for fast temperature readings taken via the forehead or ear, and displays results in Celsius or Fahrenheit on an HD LED screen that’s easy to read in the dark. Goodbaby promises its thermometer is so unobtrusive, you can even take baby’s temperature while he or she is sleeping. You can store up to 35 temperature readings for tracking your little one’s fever over time, but our favorite feature hands down is the intelligent fever reader, which flashes a light that’s green (below 99°F), orange (99.3 to 100.3 °F) or red (100.4 to 109.2 °F) to quickly indicate how high and serious the temperature is.
2. Thermometer for Adults and Kids
Checking the temperature of a sleeping baby is risky business: You don’t want to make too much noise and chance that they’ll wake up, but you also want to keep an eye on their fever through the night. While some devices are noisy, this ear thermometer features a silent mode you can click on during naps or at nighttime. The infrared thermometer also has a fever warning system that emits combinations of lights and beeps that signal different temperature conditions. Plus, with a forehead reader that’s just as easy to use, this device is great for the entire family.
3. Braun Thermoscan 5 Digital Ear Thermometer
This thermometer works just as quickly and efficiently as the devices you’d find in a doctor’s office. It operates via digital technology that features easy-to-use controls so the entire family can work it, plus its tip has been pre-warmed to ensure accuracy to a tenth of a degree. Unlike other devices that require a bit of practice, Braun’s patented ExacTemp positioning system lets parents know via a light and beep that they’ve found the perfect positioning in the ear for an accurate reading. Aside from its speedy, accurate results and data recall options, it’s also worth noting that this thermometer makes hygiene a top priority. This is done through disposable lens filters, so you can switch between one patient to the next without having to worry about cleaning the probe first (because cross contamination, not to mention earwax build up, isn’t exactly sanitary). The forehead reader is also no-touch, serving as another protective shield to prevent the spreading of germs.
4. Infrared Thermometer
New parents don’t have time to waste, which is why this fast-reading thermometer is a must-have in your medicine cabinet. This battery-operated device stores 40 previous readings and it’s super portable—it even comes with a handy carrying pouch to protect it.
5. Alcedo Forehead and Ear Thermometer
This forehead and ear thermometer is great for babies and adults alike. It operates with the touch of a button so you won’t have to worry about learning how to use a new complicated tool. It stores up to 20 readings so you can keep a log, and it has four modes you can use depending on where or who is using it.