Which thermometer type is most accurate?

thermometer typesTemperatures are taken generally in the ear/mouth/ bottom, under the arm on the forehead. Each method is considered accurate when done correctly. Temperature readings can differ slightly depending on the method and each method has pros and cons.

  • Rectal: This method may be uncomfortable, bearing risk of causing local injury or cross-contamination.
  • Oral: Measuring temperature in the mouth requires your child’s cooperation and is not suitable for childs or babies.
  • Under the arm: Measurements under the arm are convenient. However, this method is not always reliable and should only be used as a general screening.
  • Forehead: There are two different types of forehead thermometer, The first one in the form of strips, able to be stuck to the forehead of the patient, they are quite inaccurate.The second type is the laser forehead thermometer which is measure body heat via infrared rays. This method is non-invasive and gentle, and many forehead thermometers display readings within just a few seconds. Infrared forehead thermometer accuracy can be easily affected by other sources of head or the heat of the environment in which they are used. Be sure to read the instructions for use to ensure an accurate reading. Even though these are more accurate than the strips.
  • Ear:  Ear temperatures can accurately reflect changes in core body temperature without a significant time lag. The ear is an easily accessible site for temperature measurement. As with all thermometers, proper technique, as described in the instructions for use, is important to ensure a reliable reading.

You can see a summary table about pros and cons of measuring methods and you can decide which type of method or thermometer you can select. (I prefer under the arm method for my child.)

1 is better..4 is worse

Speed Comfortable Measuring Mistake Difficulty Age limitation Price Level
1 Forehead / Ear1-5 seconds Forehead / Ear Rectal Forehead(No) Ear(Over 6 months)  Rectal /Oral/Under the arm8-10$
2 Under the arm10-60 seconds Under the arm Under the arm Under the armNo Ear Over 30$
3 Oral60 seconds Oral Ear Oral Yes  (Over 4 years) Forehead Over 30$
4 Rectal1-2 minutes Rectal Forehead Rectal Yes (0-3 years)  –



Sources :www.braunthermometers.com

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