Choosing the best thermometer for your child

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There are many different kinds of thermometers on the market. With so many options, parents can feel overwhelmed, but not all temperature-taking devices are created equal, doctors said.

When it comes to young children, especially, doctors recommend certain thermometers over others.

The most accurate readings will be with a rectal thermometer, they said. However, if the parent is uncomfortable with that, they can try a forehead scanner. They can also place a digital thermometer under their child’s armpit.

No matter what kind they use, doctors say it’s important to read the instructions.

“It does partially depend on the child’s age, and it also is very important to follow the directions on the thermometer to a tee,” said Dr. Maureen Ahmann, with Cleveland Clinic Children’s. “There were a lot of mass-produced thermometers with the most recent pandemic…they all have different directions.”

One thermometer doctors do not recommend for young kids is an ear thermometer. It can be difficult to get the right angle, and ear wax and infections can give inaccurate readings.