Children: which thermometer?

Children: which thermometer?

Where is it best to take the temperature of small children? Which thermometer is preferable to use? Pros and cons of the types of thermometers on the market

Children: which thermometer?

Taking the temperature of young children can be a challenge, especially between 12 months and 3 years, when they have a harder time staying still. The choice of the thermometer is also important in the success of this undertaking.

Once the mercury one has been retired, there are essentially three types on the market; we see strengths and weaknesses.

The most suitable thermometer for children

Classic thermometer It replaced the old mercury thermometer. It is quite accurate and can be used for rectal and axillary measurements. The only shortcoming of this thermometer in children is the time it takes to get a precise measurement: about 5 minutes, a little too much for the most restless.

Digital thermometer . It can usually be used rectally, orally, or axillary; however, this is not always the case, so it is important to read the instructions before choosing a location. The greatest advantage of using this type of thermometer in children is the speed with which the measurement is obtained: it takes just a few seconds and you’re done. The measurement is also announced by an audible signal, which is very convenient.

Infrared thermometer . With the infrared thermometer, which simply rests on the forehead, the measurement is obtained in just a few seconds and can be used even when the baby is asleep. However, there is a problem: if you do not aim it well and do not use it in optimal environmental conditions, the temperature obtained is not reliable and is usually lower than the actual one. Another disadvantage: it is very expensive.

Read also Fever in the newborn, how to recognize and measure it >>

Thermometer and children: what is the optimal seat

The dilemma that many parents face is: axillary or rectal temperature ? Ideally, it would be better to take the axillary one so as not to create too much discomfort for the little patient. However, children often do not cooperate, so what do we do?

If the children don’t cooperate and can’t get under the armpit, he can try measuring the fever rectally. However, it is necessary to do it delicately and using some precautions:

  • lubricate the thermometer with a natural and delicate oil, for example sweet almond oil or olive oil ;
  • disinfect the thermometer before and after use with a gauze or cotton wool soaked in alcohol;
  • especially when children are agitated and it is not so easy to control their movements, be very careful not to insert the thermometer deeper than necessary.

It is known that when the temperature is measured in the rectum, the thermometer reads about half a degree higher. However, some studies have raised a question mark: so let’s take it as a rough indication. 

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