27 answers

Thermometer Recommendation

Can anyone recommend a decent thermometer for a toddler? I've had bad luck with ear thermometers (tried several brands - extremely inaccurate) and the digital oral ones are often inaccurate too and hard to keep in a toddler's mouth. The rectal seems the most accurate, but the kids hate them and you don't really want to have to undress your kid in the middle of the night when they awake with a fever. Any other solutions?

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Thanks so much to everyone for the great advice! Sounds like the majority recommend the Exergen temporal thermometer. I have not tried it and it sounds like the perfect solution - so I guess I'll take the $$$ plunge and see how it goes. Thank you all!

Featured Answers

Sorry to respond so late but i wanted you to know the temporal thermometer is available at Costco if you are a member. i've looked into it and they appear to be cheapest.

I got mine at wal-mart.com cheaper than i could find anywhere else. But, it's so worth the money, it saves a lot of aggreviation

This is the BEST thermometer! Here is the link. It's called the Braun ThermoScan. I bought it at buybuybaby.com


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Get an exergen temporal thermometer they are more $$$ but acurate, fast and well worth it. It is the same brand they use at our ped. and the same ones we used where I was employed.

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I love our thermometer made by Mobi. You can use it on the ear or forehead. I really only use it on the forehead. I find it accurate and really easy to use. I bought it last year when our then 2 year old was sick off and on the entire winter. We had lots of fevers... I'm pretty sure I got it at BabiesRUS, but here it is at Target too:

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Hi A.,
Sorry for the late response as well. I just wanted to offer another suggestion for the temporal thermometer. We recently purchased the Thermofocus by Kidzmed (http://www.kidzmed.com/ccp0-prodshow/01500.html). It is by far the most expensive. The only reason I mention it is because I actually read enough negative reviews of the Exergen that we decided to go with the Thermofocus. I believe they actually work differently--so you're not just paying more for the same thing. It costs around $70. We got ours at Walgreens when our daughter was sick and we didn't want to have to wake her to take a rectal temp. I will say that she's not crazy about the red lights on her forehead, but you can take it on the navel for infants...not sure about toddlers. It can also take the temp of the air and water...even food or bottles. You can even use it when your child is asleep.
We also have a digital thermometer that we use rectally...our daughter still tolerates it. :-) Good luck!

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Exergen Temporal Artery Thermometer - http://www.toysrus.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2267477

worth every penny - i used to have to fight my daughter to get her to stay still enough - we had a cheaper version of a temple thermometer (that you had to hold in one spot for like 10-15 seconds) we tried a pacifier model too....

this one by far is the best - my daugther thinks its a fun game and likes to put it on our forehead too.

1 mom found this helpful

I am sorry that I didn't see your request for info until you gave your results reply.
I have both a rectal and a temporal thermometer. My infants have never liked the temporal thermometer and will not sit still for it. Your children may be different/older, but I can also tell you that my Pediatricians (had to move) and all the other Doc's I have had to use when the Pediatrician is not available, reccommend the rectal or armpit thermometer as the best, and then they reccommend the ear thermometer before they would ever consider the temporal ones.
As for using the temporal thermometer, it has always provided different temperatures each time we use it successively. Even when using it on my husband or myself! Generally we take the temp 3 times and have to average the temp. Even then, when we take the temp with the rectal one, we have been severelly Wrong, a differenc of a whole degree! This thermometer is not accurate, and is a huge waste of money.
My children also do not care for the rectal thermometer, but we make it work. If they are too squirmy/upset, we take it out, calm them and try again. When we are up in the middle of the night with them sick we just change the diaper, the cool air also helps to cool them down, should they have a temp anyways.
Sorry and Goodluck,

I have a thermoter that you scan over the forehead. It's expensive about $40 but worth every penny. It has seemed accurate to me and it literally takes a second. I put it in front of my forehead press the button and it beeps a second later. It has worked great for my son because he would never stay still to take his temp-this one I just sneak up on him scan it front of his forehead and get a temp. It works on my daughter too.

We have one by Timex. It's a digital oral thermometer, but the part that goes in your mouth is curved so the whole thing looks like a question mark. It keeps it in the right place under their tongues so they don't have to sit so still, and it reads very quickly. Good luck!

There is a new type of thermometer being used, I assume you can buy it. It uses infrared light to "read" the temperature of a person's forehead. There's a large vein in our foreheads that conducts the heat, of course, when there's a fever. By just passing this thermometer in front of the the forehead for about 10 sec., it can get a reading. I've seen it used on my daughter (age 9) when we went to the urgent care center. I asked about it's accuracy, and the nurse said they used it alongside other thermometers, initially, and they both gave the same temp, so they gave up the other kinds they were using. I have no idea how expensive it is, but it's quick, and not at all invasive. Good luck.

We use the Exergen Temporal scanner thermometer. The same kind of thermometers that they use on the maternity floor and by pedaitricians. You just push the button and run it across your babies forehead and get the temp. We have found it to be very acurate and easy to use. Plus the model we have can be used by babies, children and adults so it was worth the $50.00 we paid for it at Walmart. We love not having to get our children undressed to use it and my daughter thinks it's neat so doesn't mind us getting her temp now and it literally takes a second to use, no more holding them down to keep the thermometer under their arm and I always hated trying to do a rectal temp. :)

I know I am a little late to reply. But I have this thermometer sitting in my Walmart online cart, because I plan to purchase it, since I also have heard nothing but good things about this thermometer. I work in a Drs. office and the nurses all use this thermometer when they do house calls.

Just a quick note on the Temporal, I actually use it on my son's neck because it's easier to hold steady there. Also if you have a Flex Spending Account or Health Savings Account it is a valid expense and you can turn your receipt in to be reimbursed.

We use the one that goes across the forehead. It is digital, easy to use and takes seconds. Fairly accurate, as if any really are. But it works and it is non invasive.

Sorry to respond so late but i wanted you to know the temporal thermometer is available at Costco if you are a member. i've looked into it and they appear to be cheapest.

When my kids were little I used a digital therm. under the arm pit. Double check w/ your pediatrician to get the correct temperature range, I forget, but I think the arm pit runs a bit colder than the mouth or rectal.

My kids never minded it and when they are sleepy all you have to do is make sure their arm is down better than the other methods!

Hi A. - Vicks makes an axilary (under arm) thermometer that we use and really like. Someone else mentioned that you should add a degree to the reading to get what would be comparable to an oral reading which is suggested right on the packaging of the thermometer. While this isn't the most precise or recommended means of taking a temp, it is very convenient and not too invasive... it at least gives you a very close estimate, and depending on the reading, if necessary, you can follow up with an anal reading (which we've had to do when our youngest was a newborn). Good luck!

They have thermometers that have a bendable neck and that are used for under the arm. They are pretty good for checking fevers and it allows for a comforting position as you usually need to hold the child to be able to read them. Though, with younger ones, you need to hold them just to get an accurate reading as they don't know to keep their arm pit closed tight. About the only other thing to remember is to add 1 degree to what ever it says when it's done.

This is the BEST thermometer! Here is the link. It's called the Braun ThermoScan. I bought it at buybuybaby.com


I have both the thermo scan ear thermometer (braun I think) that our pedi uses and the exergen temporal. Both are equally effective if used and read properly. Read the instructions carefully and consult your pedi, baseline normal temperatures varies depending on where you take the it, ie, rectal, axillary, ear, etc. as much as 1 degree.

I've been happy with both, though happier with the ear thermo, but my son is used to it from his pedi's office.

Under the arm is definitely the way to go. Any thermometer will do.

I got mine at wal-mart.com cheaper than i could find anywhere else. But, it's so worth the money, it saves a lot of aggreviation

exergen temporal thermometer is the best. So easy and accurate. They use at hospitals, surgery centers, etc.
You can get at Walmart online for $29.99. You can even use while the child is sleeping. My daughter loves to take my temp too.

You should try an "armpit" thermometer, they are sold everywhere, and I found it to be extremely accurate. You simply place it in their armpit, snuggle them for a few minutes and Voila! you know their temperature. We used this type with both our boys and never had an issue.


What is use for rectal thermometers is the flexible tip ReliOn thermometer found near the pharmacy counter is most stores. I purchased mine at Wal-Mart. Ensure you put a dab of vaseline on the silver tip and I have had to many times take my daughter's temp in the middle of the night, I changer her pamper at the same times as well. She is used to having her diaper changed at night, so I don't get a big protest from her.

Good Luck!


Not sure what others have said - I have friends who like the forehead thermometers. I just like an armpit one myself - we have one and it takes less than 10 seconds.

I have to put in another vote for the Exergen Temporal scanner. We've used this since my son was an infant. It's easy, non-invasive, and very accurate.

Rectal is supposed to be the most accurate method. When my son had the flu, and we called the doctor, we were asked to give a rectal temp (not much fun!). The rectal temp turned out to be identical to the temporal scan--very nice!

At the preschool I worked at we would take the temp under the arm pit and add a degree. I know it's not 100% accurate like the rectal way, but a lot more convenient :)

I saw 2 and trying to decide which one to get as well. I was at Walgreens looking around waiting for an RX and saw 2-One is the Temperal one that takes a temperature by swiping it across their forehead or on their temperal lobe-for about 30 or 40 dollars,(my Hubby uses this one at work with the special needs adults and loves it), then there ia this other one that uses a beam of light to measure temp without ever touching a person(40-50)-so it will not disturb a sleeping person, child or whatever-This one also measure bath water, bottle temp, food temp and room temp! I think this is the one we are going to try when income tax gets here-I like both of them since they both do not require replaceable covers-the one we have does and it is a PITB and costly! Good luck with whatever one you choose-I have a really busy 4 yr old and am thinking this one would be easier since it reads so fast and she does not have to slow down for me to do it! LOL!

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