The Best Thermometers for Kids and Families
During cold and flu season, parents should have a reliable thermometer on hand—especially as COVID-19 still spreads across the country. You'll find many different options on the market, but the best thermometers are easy to use and give an accurate reading every time. Here, we rounded up several top-rated thermometers that you can buy from your go-to retailers.
Choosing a Thermometer for Kids
If you suspect your child has a fever, it's important to take their temperature properly. Once you have an accurate reading, you can determine if their temperature is high enough for fever-reducing medication or a visit to the pediatrician.
There are several different types of thermometers on the market. Each one has positives and negatives; the best type depends on your child's age and your personal preferences.
Rectal Thermometer: The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) suggests a rectal thermometer for children three years old or younger. That's because rectal thermometers provide the most accurate reading for young kids.
Oral Thermometer: Once your child is 4 or 5 years old, they can handle oral thermometers. Make sure they keep their mouth closed when the thermometer is placed under their tongue; they also shouldn't drink hot or cold liquids for 15 to 20 minutes before the reading.
Tympanic (Ear) Thermometer: These provide quick results—in just a few seconds—and generally keeps kids relaxed and comfortable. However, there are a few drawbacks: tympanic thermometers are more expensive than oral or rectal thermometers, and readings can be thrown off by earwax buildup or improper technique.
Temporal (Forehead) Thermometer: You can choose a temporal scanner if your little one doesn't tolerate other types of thermometers. They're fast and fairly accurate.