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What is the BEST, most accurate Thermometer to use?

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Old 05-31-2003, 07:00 AM   #1
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Question What is the BEST, most accurate Thermometer to use?

I have 4 children, one on the way in 2 months, I am still using the old mercury thermometers. My older ones never seem to keep these in their mouths right, and under their arm takes a lifetime, & I question the accuarcy of this. The younger ones, I just do an anal reading which is accurate & quick, but I need something else as my children are getting older. I don't mind paying a higher price for those EAR thermometers, but are they accurate, or AS accuarate as an old Mercury Thermometer? What do all of you use on your children? I have been to 2 Pediatricians in the past 12 years & One uses the Ear thermometer, and other tells me those are NOT accurate and uses one of those digital ones under the arm for 4 minutes. (I don't know about you, but it's like pulling teeth to get a kid to stay still that long- whether in the mouth or under the arm) what works for you?

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Old 05-31-2003, 09:50 AM   #2
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A digital thermometer is more accurate than a mercury, only because it is easier to read. An ear thermometer is not as accurate because they are difficult to get precisely positioned. Many doctor's offices have digital thermometers that only take a few seconds to read, and they come with thick covers so they can be used both rectally and orally. That is the kind I would suggest. I dont know where you would get one, but it would be worth the money!

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Old 06-01-2003, 02:50 PM   #3
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I have heard that the only reason some Dr.s offices use ear thermometers was because of the speed, not the accuracy.

Since my boys are still pretty young, I have not used anything besides a rectal thermometer yet so I am wondering what to use next also.
Mommy to three boys

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Old 06-01-2003, 07:35 PM   #4
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Mercury thermometers are dangerous because if a child squirms and you don't have a good hold on them the thermometer can break causing the mercury to escape as well as glass pieces all over. Also the original poster mentioned that taking a temperature rectally with an old fashioned thermometer was fast and easy. It may be easy and accurate but is anything short of fast if you leave the thermometer in the entire 5 minutes it is supposed to be left in. I find it hard to keep a baby or young child still for 5 minutes for a rectal temp and and axillary one at 7 minutes with the old themometer is also a long wait in my opinion. Believe me if you have every worked in a care facility and had the flu going through and can't do an oral temp on most of your patients with a mercury thermometer you can use up a good 1/2 hour or more just getting everyones temperature done. These days any one of the digital or ear thermometers does a good job. Just remember in older children and adults you have to pull the pinnea of the ear up and back before you push the scan button in order to straighten out the ear canal for an accurate reading. In younger children follow the directions for how to pull the ear for a proper reading.

Old 06-02-2003, 12:35 PM   #5
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Hello, You really should get rid of the mercury therm. Are you sure it's a mercury therm. and not an alcohol one? Mercury therm. have the silver liquid inside and are no longer sold in any stores in the USA. Alcohol therm. have red liquid in them and are still sold here. Alcohol therm. are still ok to use, but mercury aren't. There was a program where you turn your mercury therm. in and get an alcohol one for free, but I can't remember if it was a government program or a local hospital program or a local pharmacy program. The ear ones aren't as accurate and can be thrown off by too much ear wax build up. They are used in the doctor's offices, because they are more kid friendly. We use a Braun ear therm., which reads exactly the same as our Ped.'s. (We checked it out when our son was sick one time.) The problem we have with our Braun is that we can't store it in a cool/cold room, or it will keep giving us error messages until we have it warmed up. (A real pain in the neck!) We don't use rectal ones, which are the most accurate, because I remember the doctor using one on me when I was around 4 or 5 years old...It wasn't fun, especially since he sterilized it with a lighter. We don't use the mouth one, because our son never sits still. I guess, now I have you really confused. We use the ear one. Our son doesn't get sick enough to warrent a mouth therm.


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