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How do I decide between all the different thermometers available?
With thermometers for babies and children ranging from those costing a few pounds up to more than £40, it can be confusing deciding which to buy.
The NHS has warned against the use of forehead strip-type thermometers, as they can give inaccurate results, but says that a cheap, digital thermometer from a supermarket, pharmacy or online is perfectly adequate.
If your little one suffers from febrile convulstions and seizures, it would be worth checking this article out.
If you do want to spend a bit more, there are non-contact thermometers, suitable for using on a sleeping baby – after all, who wants to wake their child if they don’t have to?
There are also those that are multi-purpose and can be used for measuring your child’s temperature in their ear, under their tongue, or even rectally.
Check out what to do if your baby has a fever.
And the latest technology will even tailor the reading depending on the age of your child.
It’s worth noting the NHS urges parents to seek urgent medical advice if their little one is under three-months-old and has a temperature of 38C (101F) or is between three and six-months-old and has a temperature of 39C (102F).
We’ve rounded up some of the best thermometers to give you peace of mind when your baby or toddler seems unwell…
1. Motorola MBP70SN Non-Contact Digital Thermometer, £49.99
Take fuss free temperatures with the Motorola’s Smart Touchless Forehead technology.
Without having any contact with your child – just hold the thermometer 5cm or less from their forehead and press the temperature icon button – results are displayed on a large LED screen in less than 1 second. You can also read results on your phone in real time, via Bluetooth, on the Hubble Connect for Smart Nursery app which allows you to track up to 4 family members’ temperature history.
This thermometer is perfect for fast results on wriggly babies even when they’re sleeping. It’s one of the quickest and most convenient thermometers on our list.
MFM judge Ruth says: “All the worry and faff of being able to take your child’s temperature at night are banished with this non-contact thermometer. The handy little light and fever alarm are really comforting and I would recommend to other mums and dads.”
Available from: Amazon, Baby Monitors Direct and Cool Shop
2. Braun ThermoScan7 Ear Thermometer with Age Precision, £52.99
With its pre-warmed tip to ensure accuracy, nightlight and memory that stores the last 9 temperature readings taken, this silver award-winning thermometer impressed our judges.
It’s also got a unique age-adjustable fever setting to reflect that the definition of a fever changes depending on your child’s age. So whether you have a newborn or a 5-year-old, the colour-coded reading can help you interpret the temperature at first sight.
MFM judge Karen says: “I love the product! The display screen on the outside makes it really easy and quick to read results. Instructions of use are very clear and easy to follow. The function of age input and memory makes it a really handy. I tested it on my 2 year old who doesn’t like to have anything put in her ear so the speed of reading is crucial. ThermoScan 7 does an excellent job.”’
Available from: Argos, Amazon and Boots
3. Braun No Touch+ Forehead Thermometer, £52.99
Allowing temperature reading through both touch and no touch (up to 5cm away), this is a versatile thermometer for children of all ages. There’s a colour coded display, silent mode and positioning guidance system to help ensure correct readings.
At a slightly higher price than the Motorola Non-contact Digital, there’s no Bluetooth phone app connection, but it offers the added reassurance of a touch-based reading without the need for filters that an in-ear contact reading would require.
Our reviewer says: “I always used to fiddle around with one of the disposable filters, while trying to placate my daughter at the same time, which was never easy and invariably, I’d run out of filters at the critical moment! I was delighted with this product. Excellent quality, easy to use and great accuracy – thank you Braun!”
Available from: Amazon, Argos and Dunelm
4. Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature Digital Ear Thermometer, £37.49
Type: In ear
The tiny tip on the Tommee Tippee digital ear thermometer makes it ideal for using from birth, and it claims to give an accurate reading in either celsius or fahrenheit in just one second.
There’s a fever alert alarm, which tells you when your little one’s temperature is too high, and the pack comes with eight replacement hygiene covers, although you can buy extra packs of 40 for £5.29.
The Tommee Tippee is quite a bit cheaper than the comparable Braun Thermoscan7 in ear thermometer on our list. There’s no backlit display to ease dim light readings, colour coded readings nor fever adjustment by age which the Braun Thermoscan7 has.
However, the Tommee Tippee does have memory storage of previous temperatures just like the Braun and very results.
Available from: Mothercare, Boots, Amazon and Very
5. Brother Max 6-in-1 Projection Thermometer, £59.99
The Brother Max allows contactless temperature reading which projects the reading directly onto your child’s forehead. The reading needs to be centred into the projected box which helps you make sure you’ve aligned the thermometer correctly. There are 6 different uses for this thermometer including bath water and milk bottles so it can be used more than just occasionally.
It’s very simple to use with just 3 buttons and offers a unique way to measure temperatures that is unobtrusive especially to poorly little ones. It is at a higher price than most on our list, but the innovative design, ease of use and multiple household measuring features make it worth consideration.
Available from: Boots, Amazon and Argos
6. Infrared Forehead Thermometer My Touch – Chicco, £45.99
With it’s ergonomic design, the Chicco My Touch thermometer is placed between 2 fingers allowing a gentle reading from the temple – you can give your child a hug and take a reading at the same time.
Readings take 5 seconds and appear on the easy to read, large display. There is a fever alarm and light and it stores the last 25 readings.
The Chicco my touch has some great features but could be a challenge for wriggling little ones or wake those that are sleeping as you need to get into the right position. We do like the fever light which will display green or amber or red – which indicates a fever.
Available from: Cool Shop and Amazon
7. Braun Age Precision Digital Stick PRT2000, £15.99
Type: In ear, oral and rectal
Age Precision from Braun allows the fever reading to be adjusted with the push of a button depending on the age of your child.
A colour coded display will help you instantly know if your child has a fever. Readings take just 8 seconds and the thermometer beeps when it’s finished.
The flexible stem also makes it more comfortable that the usual rigid option. It can be used without filters (although Braun recommends probe covers for oral readings) and is cleaned with soap and water or disinfected with rubbing alcohol.
It’s also comforting to know that Braun is the #1 thermometer brand chosen by doctors. The pricing makes it an affordable, simple to use option from the market leader.
Available from: John Lewis, Boots and Amazon
8. Mothercare Digital Pen Thermometer, £8.00
Type: Under tongue
This budget-friendly thermometer is placed under your baby’s tongue for a temperature reading in 30 seconds. It has a last reading memory and will beep if it reads a very high temperature. At just 0.013 kg in weight and 13cm long this is also a very portable option.
Easy to clean with just soap and water, the only additional expense would be to replace the included LR41 battery when it runs out.
A lot less frills than the other thermometers on our list and 30 seconds can be a challenge to get a poorly child to sit still with something under their tongue – but with patience it’s totally possible.
Available from: Mothercare