If you are a mom or a dad, you know how hard it is to get a young child to keep a thermometer in their mouth when you suspect they may have a fever. In fact, it is darn near impossible. Even as an adult I have a hard time keeping an oral thermometer under my tongue until a proper reading can be taken. There are anal thermometers, but for some reason, I have never had the heart to use one of these on my daughter. If I can’t do it to myself, I can’t bring myself to do it to someone else. I guess this means I would have made a horrible nurse.

I always use forehead thermometers on my child when I suspect she has a fever. These are strips that rest on the skin and give you a temperature. Sometimes they give you a number, and other times they give you a range. Forehead thermometers often react very quickly, and they are far less likely to bother your child than anything else. Even the ear thermometers will bother your child, though they do work quickly. If you use an ear thermometer, you have to take three readings and do an average to make sure you are getting the correct temp, and this is not always even accurate.

The problem with forehead thermometers is that they are not entirely accurate. I use them to see if there might be a fever, and if something pops up, I then have to get her to use the oral thermometer to get an accurate reading. If forehead thermometers register nothing above 98.7, then I know she is fine and I don’t have to worry about a fever, but if it shoots up higher, I know I need to find out what is going on. If it shoots up to 104 immediately, don’t even bother with the oral thermometer; get your child to the ER as soon as you possibly can.

You can find forehead thermometers anywhere you shop, and you may even find free ones at promotional events. Just make sure you use them as a guide and don’t think they are the most accurate means of finding out if your child has a fever or not. They can give you a good idea of what their temperature might be, but forehead thermometers are not perfect. Think of it as an instrument you can use to decide if you need to fight with getting your child to use the oral thermometer or not.

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