If you’re looking for an forehead thermometer accuracy, we recommend the dual-function iProven DMT-489.
Most thermometers will read your temperature accurately. But really good ones should also be fast and easy to read – so you can quickly figure out what to do if you or your kid is sick. If you’re looking for an oral/rectal/axillary thermometer, our top pick is the Vicks ComfortFlex.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, some or all of our picks may be sold out. Any digital thermometer you find at a pharmacy right now should be okay at reading body temperature.
Also, keep in mind that it’s fine to borrow a thermometer, as long as you sanitize it between uses. But if you want to buy a thermometer online right now, we’ve found a few options that are still available.
Baby thermometers use the same heat-sensing technology as those for adults. We will continue monitoring stock on these. Basal body temperature (BBT) thermometers, which are often used for fertility tracking, should also work; just make sure the one you buy has a wide enough range to measure fever.
Aim: To compare infrared tympanic and forehead thermometer measurements with traditional rectal digital thermometers.
Methods: A total of 254 children (137 girls) aged one to 24 months (median 7 months) consulting a private pediatric practice because of fever were prospectively recruited. Body temperature was measured using three different devices.
Results: The median and interquartile range for rectal, tympanic and forehead thermometer accuracy were 37.6 (37.1-38.4)°C, 37.5 (37.0-38.1)°C and 37.5 (37.1-37.9)°C, respectively (p < 0.01). The limits of agreement in the Bland-Altman plots were -0.73 to +1.04°C for the tympanic thermometer and -1.18 to +1.64°C for the forehead thermometer accuracy.
The specificity of both the tympanic and forehead thermometers for detecting fever above 38°C was good, but sensitivity was low. Forehead measurements were susceptible to the use of a radiant warmer.
Both the tympanic and forehead devices recorded lower temperatures than the rectal thermometers. The limits of agreement were particularly wide for the forehead thermometer and considerable for the tympanic thermometer.
In the absence of valid alternatives, because of the ease to use and a little degree of discomfort, tympanic thermometers can still be used with some reservations. Forehead thermometers should not be used in pediatric practice.