I had an interesting conversation with my neighbor the other day. We live near a hospital where she works as a nurse. We talk almost every day now that I am pregnant. She gives me advice all the time. Also, she gave me a list of things we need to do before our baby is born, such as buying items.

This list includes a thermometer. She told me it was very important that you buy one because although babies are physically much stronger than parents realize, but it is crucial to keep a close eye on their health. When they are sick, they tend to quickly get a fever, but it often disappears quickly as well. Having a fever for a long time is not good for your baby’s health though.

I asked her what kind of thermometer we should buy. She gave me several suggestions. First, don’t choose a thermometer based on its price. Cheap thermometers often are not the best choice. IR guns and infrared non-contact thermometers, especially those that have to be aimed from a distance at the forehead, are very cheap, but not accurate. She explained that it is very difficult to “hit” the correct spot on your baby’s forehead. The right spot is the temporal artery. If you miss the artery you are simply measuring the temperature of the skin on the forehead. If you are checking your baby’s health, that number is useless. Your goal is to know the temperature of the blood in the temporal artery, since that number gives you a perfect indication of the body temperature of your baby.

In addition, she advised me not to buy an ear thermometer. It is very difficult to correctly position the tip of the ear thermometer in the ear canal, she explained. Parents are often afraid of hurting their child, so they don’t push the thermometer deep enough into their ear. Occasionally, she said, a thermometer is pushed in too deep into the ear canal. This can be painful and can even damage the ear drum. Yet ear thermometers are quite popular. People tend to forget, she said, that anatomically speaking, every human has a different ear. That’s why it’s so difficult to place the thermometer in just the right spot in the ear canal.

So, what should I purchase, I asked her. She recommends buying a Temporal Artery Thermometer. The beauty of these thermometers, she explained, is that all you need to do is gently wipe them across the forehead of your baby. In this way, you can measure the temperature of the blood in the temporal artery on the forehead in a matter of seconds. Since the sensor of the Temporal Artery Thermometer is quite large, it is virtually impossible to miss the artery on the forehead. When you take a child’s temperature using a Temporal Artery Thermometer, they will not be intimidated by the thermometer, but often see it as a game you are playing with them. Even better: you can even take their temperature with a little swipe across their forehead while they are sleeping.