What is a thermometer?
Thermometers are a great way to get a fast accurate reading of your child’s temperature. Feeling warmth on your child's forehead can reveal a potential problem, but it doesn't tell you enough. In babies younger than 3 months, even a low fever can be a sign of a serious illness or infection. Ideally, to get a fast and accurate reading of your child’s temperature, you need a digital thermometer.
Which thermometer is right for you?
Try and choose one that's easy to use and appropriate for your child's age.
It is best to use a digital thermometer to get a fast, accurate reading.
Also consider the cost and how you want to use the thermometer. Some thermometers can measure your child's temperature in more than one way (for example, in the mouth or under the arm), while others offer just one option.
With some models, you pop the thermometer under their armpit, wait for a sign it’s ready – usually a beep after about 15 seconds – and then read the display. Some models pop inside your baby’s ear. And some even let you take the temperature without it touching your baby – ideal when they’re being wriggly! Some can measure heart rate and take the temperature of the room too.
Taking your baby's temperature
- Hold your baby on your knee and put the thermometer in their armpit – always use the thermometer in the armpit with children under five
- Gently but firmly, hold their arm against their body to keep the thermometer in place for however long it says in the manufacturer's instructions – usually about 15 seconds; some digital thermometers beep when they're ready
- The display on the thermometer will then show your child's temperature
How much will a thermometer cost?
Prices start at around £5, but for a good one, you can expect to pay £25 or more.
Top tips for buying a thermometer
You can buy a digital thermometer online or from pharmacies and most large supermarkets. You can buy other types of thermometer, but they may not be as accurate as a digital thermometer for taking a baby or small child's temperature.
Strip-type thermometers, that you hold onto the child’s forehead, aren’t accurate, and mercury-in-glass thermometers must be avoided at all costs!
Ready to buy?
Take a look at some of the popular thermometers below.
Summer Digital Fever Alert
RRP: £24.99 - Buy now
Offering great value for money, and usage from newborn upwards, this is easy to use, infra-red thermometer is a nursery must-have
- Can be used for newborn babies and older children and adults thanks two interchangeable tips
- Works with an infra red sensor so no probing needing
- Has 'fever alert' technology which turns display red if a high temperature is recorded
- Can save up to 12 previous readings for comparison and monitoring
- Display can be set to degree Celsius or Fahrenheit
Why we love the Summer Digital Fever Alert ....
- The fever alert system is really reassuring and leaves no room for error – perfect for anxious new parents!
- Can be used for all the family, so a great medicine cabinet staple for everyone to use
- Doesn't need probe covers because the infra red technology, meaning it is always clean and ready for use
- The memory recall is really useful for monitoring your baby and keeping a note of their condition