According to health experts, fevers are usually nothing serious as they signify your body’s natural ability to protect itself against infections. So, at times it's very okay to let the fever run its course. However, there are instances when high fevers, especially in combination with other symptoms could spell trouble. For this reason, it’s advisable to keep track of your child fever as it can provide your doctor with valuable information when making a diagnosis. This makes a baby thermometer a necessary medical tool for every household with kids.

Different types of thermometers can be used to measure fever temperature, one of them being an ear thermometer, also referred to as a tympanic thermometer. The following are some helpful tips on using a kids ear thermometer:

  1. Use an ear thermometer on kids above 3 years

An ear thermometer for kids is best for use on kids that are above 3 years old. There are several reasons why a kid ear thermometer isn’t ideal for kids less than this age. They include:

  • Newborns and infants have small, curved ear canals that make it make it difficult for you to take a reading.

  • Ear infections are prevalent in very young babies, and the inflammation they cause can affect the accuracy of an ear thermometer. In case of an infection, an ear thermometer produces too high of a reading.

  • Kids below the age of three tend to have a lot of ear wax which can make it hard for an infrared thermometer to read the infrared radiation produced by the eardrum accurately.

As such, rectal (anal) thermometers and forehead thermometers are considered the most accurate thermometers for newborns.

  1. Use an ear thermometer on a perfectly healthy ear

Even though an ear thermometer can be used to measure toddler fever in kids that are older than 3 years, you should not use it if your child’s ear is sore, injured, infected, or recovering from surgery. Using an ear thermometer in any of those instances will not only be uncomfortable for your child, but it will not give you an accurate reading as well.

  1. Clean ears before using an ear thermometer

We’ve already established that ear wax can interfere with temperature readings of an in-ear thermometer. An ear that has wax buildup will give too low of a reading. Therefore, you should start by cleaning the ear thoroughly to remove wax and other debris. To clean the ear:

  • Don’t use a Q-tip as it can cause the wax to be impacted against the eardrum.

  • Instead, use special ear drops or a few drops of mineral oil, almond oil or olive oil to soften the ear wax.

  • Then irrigate the ear using a little rubber device made especially for ear cleaning to rinse the ear.

  • Let the ear canal dry completely before you proceed with measuring your kid's temperature.

  1. Cover the thermometer’s tip with a sterile cover

To ensure that there’s a reduced risk of causing an ear infection, you need to ensure that the tip of the children thermometer is clean. Be sure to use sterile covers to cover the thermometer’s tip. If you don’t have the covers, sanitize thermometer’s tip with an antiseptic solution. Remember to clean the tip before and after each use.

  1. Use the ear thermometer precisely as instructed

Each manufacturer provides clear instructions on how their ear thermometer should be used to take tympanic temp. This includes how to insert the thermometer and how to interpret readings. Note that readings taken by an ear thermometer can hover around 1000F and still be considered to be normal.

If you have not bought a thermometer for kids just yet, consider purchasing the Smart Digital Ear & Forehead Thermometer by Captain Eco. It's easy to use, very accurate and displays readings in a way that is easy for you to interpret.