Monday, July 13, 2009

Top 5 Thermometers for Baby

It is no longer recommended, not just for parents, but for the general public as well, to use glass mercury thermometers. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) warns the possible risk of exposure to mercury which is considered an environmental toxin.

I used to play with it though - such a fascinating drop of liquid. I can break them into small drops and then combine them back again. Way back then I didn’t know they were toxic nor did my parents.

So if you still have those old mercury thermometers tuck in one of your grandpa’s drawers, better consult your local health office on where and how to dispose them properly.

Digital Thermometers
Before with the mercury-types, you have to sit and wait for about three whole minutes, crimping the glass tube under your armpit (or under your tongue), barely inching a muscle otherwise the reading will not be accurate.

Thank goodness for the invention of the digital thermometer - taking a child’s temperature now only takes a couple of seconds. This type of thermometer comes in many shapes and sizes, some with interchangeable accessories specifically designed for babies. Many digital thermometers can be used for the following temperature-taking methods:

  • oral or in the mouth (upper photo)

  • rectal or at the bottom (right photo)

  • axillary or under the arm (upper photo)

Digital thermometers usually have a plastic, flexible probe with a temperature sensor at the tip and an easy-to-read digital display on the opposite end.

Electronic Ear Thermometers
These types measure the tympanic temperature or the temperature inside the ear canal. Although they're quick and easy to use in older babies and children, electronic ear thermometers aren't as accurate for infants 3 months old and below (as compared to digital thermometers) and are far more expensive. Depending on the manufacturer’s advice, be sure to clean its ear-probe thoroughly before and after use.

Plastic Strip Thermometers
These are small plastic strips that you press against your child's forehead. They may be able to tell you (usually via color indicators) whether your child has a fever, but they aren't reliable for taking an exact measurement, especially in infants and very young children. If you need to know your child's exact temperature, plastic strip thermometers are not the way to go.

Forehead Thermometers
These types may be able to tell you if your child has a fever, but were previously not as accurate as the oral or rectal digital thermometers. Newer temporal artery thermometers, though still very expensive, have been shown in studies to be very accurate. They may someday become more widely available and affordable.

Pacifier Thermometers
These may seem convenient, but again, their readings are less reliable than rectal temperatures and shouldn't be used in infants younger than 3 months. They also require the child to keep the pacifier in the mouth for several minutes without moving, which is a nearly impossible task for most babies and toddlers.


1 comment:

  1. Digital thermometers have become quite an important tool in the modern world. They don’t use liquid to tell the temperature. Instead, they use readings inside the thermometers to tell a temperature, being most useful for measuring a child’s temperature. These are conveniently used at home to determine when parents should take a child to the doctor.