Buying Guide

Photo of a parent checking their child's temperature with a thermometer.
Thermometer Buying Guide

Getting Started

Placing your hand lightly on your child's forehead often provides the first clue that there's a fever. Then you'll need a more reliable way to confirm your suspicion. That's when a good thermometer is necessary--meaning one that's highly accurate. For babies under 3 months old, temperatures should be taken rectally, and any fever in this age group is typically considered an emergency. When in doubt, call the doctor.

But what type of thermometer should you choose? Some digital stick thermometers can be used to take a rectal, oral, or armpit temperature. Check manufacturer instructions before use. Also available are infrared devices, which are either designed to be used on the forehead, in the ear, or without any bodily contact at all (non contact).