Glass thermometers (with silvery-looking mercury inside) can break and be toxic for kids. The American Academy of Pediatrics does NOT recommend using forehead strip or pacifier thermometers.
Forehead strip thermometers
Digital Armpit Thermometer*
Age All ages Pros • Easy • Noninvasive • Inexpensive Cons • Less reliable than rectal • For accuracy, kids must sit still *Same as standard digital thermometer
Digital Forehead Thermometer
Age 3 months and up Pros • Fast • Noninvasive • Little cooperation needed Cons • Less reliable than rectal • More expensive than standard digital • Sweat from fever affects accuracy
Digital Rectal Thermometer*
Age 0 to 1 year Pros • Most accurate Cons • Invasive • Hard to do when kids are older *Can also use standard digital thermometer
Digital Ear Thermometer
Age 6 months and up Pros • Fast • Less invasive than rectal • More expensive than standard digital Cons • Earwax / poor placement in ear canal affect accuracy • Difficult if child is uncooperative
Standard Digital Thermometer
Age 4-5 years, and up Pros • Quick • Easy • Inexpensive Cons • Kids must cooperate • Nasal congestion affects accuracy if mouth can’t close around tip
What’s Best for Your Child?