Baby thermometers

Advice on what to look for when choosing a thermometer to measure your baby's temperature, plus the opportunity to purchase a range of mercury and digital thermometers..
Although you will know whether your baby has a raised temperature, it is useful to have a thermometer at home. There are several types of thermometers on the market. It is not recommended to take a baby's temperature by the rectal method, or use a glass thermometer. Instead use a strip thermometer on your baby's head, a stick thermometer under the arm or a digital ear thermometer.

Plastic strip thermometer

This is held against your baby's forehead for 15 seconds, until it changes colour to indicate the temperature. These strips are safe, quick and inexpensive. They are recommended by health professionals for use at home, and give a fairly accurate indication of your baby's temperature. However, they can be easily misread if you lose the instructions. Plastic strip thermometers are not as precise as a digital stick thermometer.

Battery-operated, digital stick thermometer

This is a plastic thermometer that is safe, accurate and easy to read, but a bit more expensive than a strip. This digital stick thermometer can be used orally or under the baby's arm. It registers the temperature in 30 seconds with a beep signalling when complete.

Ear thermometer

This is placed in your baby's ear and gives a digital reading after a few seconds. It is quick and accurate, but expensive. The ear thermometer produces an instant, accurate reading to within 0.1 deg C on an LCD display.

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