Has Anyone Found a Thermometer That WORKS?

Updated on December 03, 2012
V.K. asks from Chisago City, MN
9 answers

Oliver is just over 2. Since the time he was born we have tried over 10 different thermometers, including the ones that the hospital and dr office gave us. None of them have worked! The ones from the hospital and dr office worked for a couple months and then became untrustworthy with the results.

Oliver has febrile seizures (Seizures caused from high fevers), and his "breaking point" is relatively low at 102 degrees. It is really important for us to have a reliable thermometer on hand. So far, since we haven't had a reliable thermometer, we have just been guessing when to give him fever reducers like IB Profin (If he feels too hot and we've taken off all of his clothes and such, we give him some).

I would like something more reliable!!!

So... Is there a thermometer that works? Or is it hopeless? We take his temp under his arm, if that makes a difference.

What can I do next?

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answers from Madison on

I am very happy with my temporal thermometer. I bought it from ToysRUs a couple of years ago and it has been working great since. It is a bit more expensive than regular thermometers, but totally worth it.

Looks like it is on sale at Walgreens:



In case the links do not work, search for Exergen Temporal Thermometer.

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answers from Pittsburgh on

I feel like we have run the gammot with thermometers and it really is hit or miss.

First we used to have an ear thermometer but finally decided to concede that it was not accurate.

Then we bought a temporal. In the beginning it was very accurate. (I took the temperature with it and an oral thermometer at the same time.) Recently I found it had lost its accuracy as well.

So we resorted to an oral thermometer. I wanted one that gave a faster readout so purchased one, only to find it was not accurate.

So honestly I say no matter what kind you buy, you should check it for accuracy.

Parts of me want to buy a new temporal one since it was accurate for quite a while. We bough ours at Sams Club and it was less than $30, maybe even $25.

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answers from Washington DC on

We have the kinds that you run across the forehead, we got it several years ago from Wal-Mart and it still works. It was about $50.

Febrile seizures come from the fever spiking though, not the temp. A 102 temp wouldn't cause major problems, but if it goes from 98.6 to 102 then yea, that would cause problems.

My daughter had them too from the time she was 14 months until she was 5. We saw neurologist at Children's National Medical Center and they told us to use the temporal one for her. It's what we ALL use now.

I hope he gets better and grows out of them. I know how scary they are.

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answers from Jacksonville on

We have used the Braun ThermoScan ear thermometer for years. About $30 at Walgreens. I have checked accuracy & have never had a problem. Best wishes for you & your son:)

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answers from San Diego on

The one we have found to work the best is the forehead one, or temporal. We bought ours at Costco. http://www.costco.com/Exergen-Temporal-Artery-Thermometer...
It's super easy to use on squirmy children and works fast.
The birth center my third was born at uses them as well.

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answers from Washington DC on

We never used the "temporal" thermometers others recommend so I'm not familiar with them. If they are the little bands that you stick to a kid's forehead -- we tried those and they were lousy and only gave you a general indication and not an actual temp in readable degrees. But maybe they're better now?

Our pediatrician has written articles for journals about fever in children, so I tend to take her word as the best advice. I always took my daughter's temps rectally -- the doc said that was the only truly accurate way to do it in young children up to the age when they can hold one in their mouths reliably. Under the arm is not a good place -- one wiggle and the kid has exposed the thermometer to the air, skewing the reading.

Any decent digital thermometer will do. You need to get some KY Jelly and plenty of thermometer covers, and I also recommend you get alcohol swabs (the first aid kit kind) to clean the thermometer (even though I also used a cover every time, I always swabbed it afterward once the cover was in the trash). If you're really worried about the rectal area and possibly contaminating your hands, keep disposable gloves around.

It does not hurt the child, though it may surprise him the first few times and he may cry at the different sensation until he realizes it does not hurt him. But because he has febrile seizures, you need to stop merely guessing at his temperature and giving him medications on a wing and a prayer. You need data. Let him watch TV while you do it, whatever it takes to get him distracted. Digital thermometers are fast; get the fastest one available, write "rectal only" on it with a Sharpie and get yourself used to using it.

I'm pretty amazed your doctor hasn't told you to get one of these new temportal thermometers if they're good or to do rectal temps since your so is prone to febrile seizures. Or that your doc hasn't told you to get some very expensive but good ear thermometer like the docs use -- the ones from the drugstore are useless!!. I have heard many times that the ear temps are also not very accurate and most parents can't get the kind of very advanced ear thermometer that doctors use, but if you can get one of those, go for it instead. But please stop guessing and risking your son's health.


answers from St. Louis on

I actually don't have a functioning thermometer, found that out a couple weeks ago when I needed one, oops.

One of the ladies in our office, we call her our doctor, swears by the temporal (sp?) thermometer. It is the one your roll across your forehead. Instant reading and apparently accurate. Our real doctors use them too.

I have no idea what the cost is but I am looking to buy one myself.

Good old Amazon! http://www.amazon.com/Exergen-Temporal-Artery-Thermometer...

Oh, not endorsing that specific one but that type. Apparently the cheaper version can lose accuracy but the more expensive ones, around 80 dollars don't. They also have a 400 dollar one but I think the copay is cheaper to just take a child to the doctor.


answers from Iowa City on

We have a temple thermometer (that can be used either in the armpit, at the temple or behind the ear). According to studies, the most accurate temp comes from just behind the ear. And you should check the temp 3 times and use an average.

You could always get an infrared thermometer.

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