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Baby Ear Thermometers - Why They All Homes with a Young Baby Need One

Posted Jul 18 2009 9:02am

When your baby is ill it is quite normal for core body temperature to rise.  This is considered to be one of the body's natural defense mechanisms as a rise in body temperature slows down the rate at which many pathogens reproduce.  Monitoring body temperature enables you to monitor the progress of your baby's illness.  However, more importantly it enables you to watch out for significant increases in body temperature which could cause long term harm.  In very rare cases this can lead to fitting, coma or even death.

Conventional thermometers are not great for babies as they require some cooperation to use - and the last thing babies ever do is cooperate!  As a result of this some parents resort to using the rectal route.  This is causes significant discomfort - a lot of babies hate it.  It also takes several minutes for a stable temperature reading to be achieved as you need to wait for the thermometer bulb to rise up to body temperature via the slow process of conduction.

The baby ear thermometer was until recently only available in the clinic for professional use.  However, due to recent innovation and reductions in costs the price has come down quite significantly in recent years making them accessible to virtually all households.  These are an excellent alternative to conventional thermometers.

Firstly they cause minimal discomfort.  You just need to insert a very small sensor into your baby's ear canal.  The best ones will even warm the tip to close to body temperature.  Some babies will sleep through the whole process.  An accurate reading is obtained in under a second as these thermometers work by quantifying levels of infra-red radiation.  The ear is also a great place to measure temperature as the ear drum shares a blood supply with the section of the brain that controls core body temperature.  It is also not affected by environmental variables such as cool or warm drinks or food.

In contrast to popular belief baby ear thermometers are very easy to use - often just involving pushing a single button.  They can also be used for older children and even adults.  All in all a great investment for any household with babies or young children. 

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