How to Buy an Ear Thermometer for Kids
Taking your child’s temperature can be difficult as children and infants especially cannot hold a thermometer in their mouths long enough to get an accurate reading, and oral thermometers are not even safe for children; they may bite down on them causing them to break, or they may get them caught in the back of their throats. Some children even gag on oral thermometers. A rectal thermometer can also be cumbersome and difficult to use and unhygienic as well. Using an ear thermometer can allow you to get an accurate temperature quickly and easily, and having one available to use can ensure your child’s good health.
To choose an ear thermometer, first understand the features they offer. Most basic models simply read the temperature and have a digital display. Some will have a memory function so you can store the information, and others will have a signal that tells you if it’s positioned properly. You may also want to choose one with disposable tips as this will ensure hygiene, rather than trying to clean the tip after each use.
The additional features of a thermometer will raise the cost, so consider how much you need to pay versus the features. Most will cost under $20 for a standard model, but one with memory and positioning may run over $35 and up to $50. For a child with certain illnesses that need constant attending and constant temperature reading, you may want to invest more so that you have the information and functions you need. For occasional use and for most families, the standard thermometer with the basic functions may be sufficient.
When purchasing an ear thermometer, you also want to check the time it takes to get a reading. For younger children and infants, a one-second or three-second reading is good. For older children, one that takes eight seconds may be sufficient as older children can typically sit still for longer. Others that take longer than eight or ten seconds may not be the right choice as there are too many models available that are quicker and easier to use.
Braun, Graco and Safety 1st are typically the most reliable brands of products for baby and for electronics. A Braun ear thermometer with exact temperature reading, memory and positioning function may cost just under $40. A basic Graco model that only reads the temperature may start at around $17.
You can find an ear thermometer at about any pharmacy or mass market retailer, so there’s typically no reason to shop online unless you want to compare prices and features that much more quickly.