A variety of thermometers are available. The most widely used digital thermometers are inexpensive and accurate .
Ear thermometer is not as accurate as rectal or oral digital thermometers. It reads the infrared heat that comes from inside of the ear. To measure temperature accurately in the ear one must pull the child's outer ear backward before inserting the thermometer and hold the ear probe inside for approximately 2 seconds. If the child has been outside on a cold day, wait 15 minutes before measuring the ear temperature (big disadvantage).Ear tubes and ear infections do not affect the accuracy of an ear temperature however if there is too much wax in the ear it can interfere with correct reading. Also if the baby is younger than three months the results might be incorrect. For older babies and children they can be quicker and easier to use though more expensive.
These thermometers are not as reliable as the digital thermometers. Forehead thermometers (contact and non contact) are placed on the temporal artery of the forehead and will read the infrared heat that comes off of the head.
Plastic “fever” strip thermometers are placed on the forehead. These strips can not be relied on especially for infants and young children.
Glass thermometers that contain mercury are not recommended any more due to the potential risks of exposure to mercury if the thermometer is broken.
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