Digital Thermometers

Written by Blaire Chandler-Wilcox
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Digital thermometers are now universally preferred by medical professionals over mercury filled glass thermometers, due to obvious safety concerns. Digital thermometers are accurate, durable, and easy to read. Plus, they're fast, delivering temperature reads in under two minutes, announced by a friendly beep. Another nice feature of many new digital thermometers is the flexible tip design, making thermometers more comfortable in the mouth, and more resistant to bite breakage.

Specific Types of Digital Thermometers

Doctors recommend parents use rectal thermometers for children under three years of age. Many digital thermometers are safe for either rectal or oral use. However, parents should highly consider buying thermometer covers to prevent cross-contamination when using rectal thermometers. Some parents feel most comfortable using strip thermometers for taking temperature readings off the forehead. However, doctors caution that a temperature taken by a forehead thermometer is, at best, a ballpark figure. Strip thermometers should never be used in the event of an emergency.

Ear thermometers are the gold standard of thermometers. Temperatures are quickly and painlessly taken by inserting the thermometer in the ear for two seconds. The only real drawback to ear thermometers is cost. Ear thermometers will set you back between 30 and 100 dollars depending on model.

The only drawback to digital thermometers is battery replacement. Make sure to have batteries on hand. Many consumers avoid this concern completely by always having a back up thermometer ready in case of emergency.


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