I visited my doctor the other day and she told me I should not buy a non-contact infrared thermometer. The reason I asked her for advice is because our old thermometer fell on the floor the other day. It was an in-ear thermometer and when I picked it up again I saw that the tip of the thermometer had broken off. Everywhere I look I see ads for cheap IR Guns, so I thought we best buy one of those as well. Happy I discussed this with my doctor because buying one of these cheap IR thermometers would have been one big mistake.

Why? Because my doctor told me that in daily life these cheap non-contact infrared thermometers are very inaccurate. At first I didn’t understand because it seems so easy to use these thermometers. But when she explained I immediately understood. These IR guns use a point-and-click method. You point the thermometer at the forehead of your baby or child and simply click on the ‘on’ button. In theory you are now measuring the temperature of the blood in the artery on the forehead of your kid. In reality, my doctor told me, there is a huge chance you are simply measuring the temperature of their skin. And if you want to know if your child has a fever that is not very useful. Worse, it will give you a very inaccurate temperature reading and that could be dangerous for your kid. Because if you miss a fever your child might be sick and might need treatment. But if you are using an IR gun that does not measure the correct body temperature you will completely miss the fact that your kid is having a fever. So that is not good.

I therefore asked my doctor what would be the best thermometer for us. She said she is using a temporal artery thermometer with her own family at home. These thermometers measure the temperature of the temporal artery on the forehead as well, but they use an infrared sensor that you gently swipe across the forehead of your kid. When you use a temporal artery thermometer it is almost impossible to miss the artery on their forehead. Also these temporal artery thermometers use very clever technology to compensate for any outside temperature – for example when your child was in the hot sun or it the freezing cold just a few minutes ago.

Yesterday our new temporal artery thermometer arrived. It feels very robust. And when I checked my son’s temperature a few times it gave me exactly the same temperature every time I measured him. Feels very safe and secure!