Are Infrared Thermometers right for Infants/Babies?

If you are a new parent, have a young kid or are a paediatric practitioner, one of the common conditions that you are likely to come across is elevated body temperature. Fever is a common ailment and may be indicative of many conditions. This makes it important to have a reliable and accurate baby thermometer handy. It acts as a trusted guide to measure the child's temperature and keep a record of the spikes in temperature. This also assists in a better medical diagnosis.


The baby thermometer you use must be easy to handle, sturdy, and be able to accurately record the temperature despite the infant’s fussiness. Since oral thermometers are unsuitable for very young children, let us look at the various options:

1. Rectal Thermometers: Rectal thermometers are by far the most accurate when it comes to checking the temperature of an infant or a baby. This may, however, be a bit uncomfortable both for the infant and for the parent or physician. A sick child may be too fussy which would make it difficult to read the temperature.

2. Axillary (Armpit) Thermometers: These may be the easiest to use and the least invasive. The parent or physician is required is to hold the thermometer against the child’s armpit for a minute or two. Axillary thermometers, however, are not consistent or accurate and not preferred by doctors.

3. Ear Canal Thermometers: Ear canal thermometers are generally preferred as they provide rather accurate readings. These are, however, not recommended for children under 12 months of age as their ear canals are not well developed. It is also rather difficult to get the thermometer in place and obtain a reading unless the child holds still.

4. Pacifier Thermometers: The easiest way to check an irate infant’s temperature is to give the child a pacifier with a built-in thermometer. While these are most convenient, they are as consistently accurate as rectal or infrared thermometers.

5. Infrared Thermometers – These allow you to get an accurate reading of the temperature just by sweeping them across the infant’s forehead. If you are looking to buy an infrared thermometer for medical purposes you must know that these are generally referred to as “temporal artery temperature”.


Are Infrared thermometers right for my baby?

Infrared thermometers are by far the best type of thermometer to use for infants. They present many advantages.

- The chance of an infection by reuse in another child is eliminated as these do not touch the infant to read the temperature

- They can be used while the child is playing or even sleeping and takes only a sweep across the forehead.

- You can buy infrared thermometers online from websites such as Smart Medical Buyer.

- They can be synced with a smartphone app to record the readings and keep a tab on the progress of the infant’s health.

Though Infrared thermometers are more expensive than other types, the added cost is well worth the convenience and safety.