Ear canal or temporal artery (forehead) thermometer? - Mothering Forums

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Old 06-10-2007, 05:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We had a ear thermometer for our first five kids. (It was the newest thing and a mint of money then!) We loved it and it has since died. We are looking to replace it before this baby comes and I see there are temporal artery thermometers that also look fairly benign and also claim to be very accurate. Has anyone read articles comparing the two or had experience as to which would be better? I had heard that the ear thermometers weren't as accurate, but then I heard it wasn't true, but you did have to use them properly. They must be pretty good since every Dr and hospital I've been in uses them. The one I had before was a Braun Thermoscan. Any brand names better than others? Thanks!

Katie, mama to Katherine 21, Christian 19, Johannah 17, Nicholas 12, Genevieve 10, Matthew 7, Andrew 11/16/09 10#6oz home waterbirth and madly in love with my husband, Scott
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Old 06-10-2007, 06:36 PM
 
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Our ped. suggested the temporal. We purchased one for approx. $35 and it has worked like a charm. We only use it for our older child. The first few times I was hesitant to believe the accuracy of it but its been spot on every time. We still use rectal for the little one.
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Old 06-10-2007, 10:21 PM
 
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We LOVE our temporal scan thermometer. My understanding is that the ear canal ones are less accurate than other methods, but the temporal thermometers are very accurate. And SO easy. I bought ours after seeing how easily the nurses at our ped's office could take my DS1's temp with it. My kids actually *enjoy* having their temp taken with it. That means that I'm more likely to actually take a temp when I suspect a fever.

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Old 06-11-2007, 03:03 AM
 
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I got the temporal one & have just tried it out on me & DH. It was expensive but it was purchased from my registry. I think it takes a little technique, but if I can avoid using a rectal or sticking something in a sore ear canal, I want to. We have an Exergen which is what they sell at BRU

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Old 06-11-2007, 03:56 AM
 
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I've used both and I would totally go with the temporal! A couple of care providers I talked to said the reason most use ear thermometers is that until very recently they were the fastest, easiest thing out there, and they would deal with a little inaccuracy rather than a screaming infant/child unhappy with a rectal/oral temp taking.

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Old 06-11-2007, 04:07 AM
 
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We have had an ear thermometer, and I know from playing with it that it can be very inaccurate. I've had them used at dr's offices and KNEW the temps were wrong - the thermometer has to be angled just right or it just reads the side of the ear canal rather than down at the ear drum, as it's intended. Our Dr now uses the temporal thermometers, though I haven't paid as much attention to how accurate they are. I'm glad to hear they're well-liked, though!

We generally just use a basic digital and do an underarm (axial) reading, and add a degree for the adjustment. I know for little ones it's not quite accurate enough, but it's been pretty reliable for us over the years!

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Old 06-11-2007, 11:52 AM
 
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If I were to invest in a fancy thermometer, it would be the temporal. Actually, I would like to have one on hand, but it just hasn't seemed essential yet.

If I understand correctly (my SIL is a nurse) they use the ear canal ones so much n drs offices, etc. simply because they are quick and easy, and they really aren't that concerned so much with accuracy for just a check-up. Just need a number to write down.....in cases when they are concerned about accuracy (charting the temp changes) they stick with oral or rectal.

I think lots of offices are starting to move to temporal, because they do seem more accurate, and they are still very easy and quick. When my eldest was born 5.5 years ago, he was monitored for jaundice for a few days and the home health nurse they sent out to check him used the temporal type. They weren't yet available to consumers at that time, but he said they were extremely accurate.

Personally, I pretty much never check temps using a thermometer. It doesn't really seem necessary. I know when they are feverish, and it is so unlikely that the temp would spike to an alarming level (above 106) without there being plenty of other symptoms to indicate that I needed to seek medical care. Fevers have a purpose, and I try to let them do their job when the kids are sick.

If I had a child who had other medical issues and more accurate, more frequent monitoring seemed a reasonable thing, that would be different, of course. But just to take a temp to know whether it's "above normal" or not doesn't seem very useful to me. JMTCW....

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Old 06-11-2007, 09:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Good to hear all of this. I think I will go with the temporal artery one.

Katie, mama to Katherine 21, Christian 19, Johannah 17, Nicholas 12, Genevieve 10, Matthew 7, Andrew 11/16/09 10#6oz home waterbirth and madly in love with my husband, Scott
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Old 06-13-2007, 12:35 AM
 
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I was planning on purchasing an ear thermometer, but after reading responses here, I bought a temporal one. I will let you know how it works.
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