Cold & Flu

Thermometers 101: Choosing the Right One for Your Family

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Your body’s temperature can tell a lot about your health. For example, fever is one of the most common signs of an illness, such as a flu. But feeling your forehead isn’t enough – you need a thermometer to really check.

Nowadays, digital thermometers are a mainstay, providing faster and more accurate results than their old glass and mercury counterparts. There are several ways to measure temperature, but the best method for your family is whichever you find easiest.

Types of Thermometers

  • Tympanic (ear) thermometers measure temperature inside the ear canal using infrared sensors. Results are ready in a matter of seconds, so they’re great for squirmy kids. However, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) says to avoid using them in children under 6 months of age. Their ear canals are too narrow, so results may not be as reliable.
  • Multi-use thermometers read temperature through a sensor on the tip of the stem, making them a versatile option. You can use them in the mouth, rectum, or armpit. Just make sure to label accordingly so you don’t make a mistake. Rectal readings are the most accurate for infants, according to the AAP, and oral use is not recommended until age 4, when a child’s mouth is typically strong enough to hold the device.
  • Temporal (forehead) thermometers use an infrared scanner to measure temperature on the surface of the skin. Because there’s no touching or contact, they can help prevent the spread of germs between family members and are suitable for all ages.

Other Useful Tips

No matter which kind you choose, always read the manual for proper instructions on how to use your thermometer. Make sure to wash your hands before and after handling. Thermometers should also be cleaned with alcohol after every use and allowed to dry before storing or using again.

Knowledge is power when it comes to your health, which is why Oscillococcinum has teamed up with Kinsa Health. Kinsa offers a full range of award-winning smart thermometers you can pair with your phone to log symptoms and get real-time personalized guidance for each family member.

Follow @BoironUSA on Instagram and for details on how you can score a Kinsa QuickCare Thermomater, plus a family-sized box of Oscillococcinum.

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Comments (3)


Very interesting! Good to know! Thank you!
Also, I remember when I was a student nurse in Philadelphia from 1949 to 52, caring for patients in 30 bed wards having the thermometers fly out of my hand to the floor and breaking!
Those were the days!

Ms Csays:

What is the best type of thermometer for adults,


Hi Ms. C, oral thermometers usually the most accurate for adults according to the Mayo Clinic.

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