Best Baby Ear Thermometer – Braun Thermoscan 7 IRT6520 Thermometer
It’s another one of those things which parents used to live without, and I have no idea how! We’ve been using what I consider to be the best baby ear thermometer since our little boy caught his first cold. There have been plenty of times when I thought he had a temperature and he didn’t, and also times when I’ve noticed him being particularly grumpy and couldn’t figure out why, only to find he had a temperature and the start of an illness. So what exactly is it that makes the Braun Thermoscan 7 IRT6520 the best baby ear thermometer?
- Professional accuracy – used by medics
- Age specific fever display
- Quick to take a measurement
- Pre-warmed tip
- Celsius or Farenheit readings
- Only accurate if correctly inserted into the ear
- Requires new disposable probe cover for each use
Braun ear thermometers are frequently used by clinicians. Why? Because they are almost as accurate as using a rectal thermometer, and let’s face it, 100% of patients would rather have their temperature taken from their ear than you know where!
The problem with the thermometer is that many parents are scared of inserting the probe too far into the ear canal. If the probe isn’t placed far enough into the ear, you won’t get an accurate reading, it’s as simple as that. The Braun Thermoscan 7 IRT6520 thermometer comes with ExacTemp technology to help you to determine that the positioning is correct. ExacTemp confirms by lighting up and beeping to indicate that the correct positioning has been achieved, to help you even when you’re dealing with a squirming baby or toddler. Just remember to follow the instructions and to ensure that the probe is carefully inserted into the ear for the required amount of time and you should find the reading to be very accurate.
Fever indicator display
The average adult “normal” temperature when taken from the ear is 37.3 – 37.6°C, which is slightly higher than the 37°C reading that would be expected from an oral thermometer. However, it’s important to note that every individual has a slightly different “normal”. I’ve now learnt that our little boy’s “normal” is more like 36.5°C for example, and this is similar to myself. It would seem that you need to figure out your child’s normal at some point so that you a have base comparison.
Notice how I said the words average adult temperature in the above? Well that’s because children’s temperatures can also very slightly, and are usually a few tenths of a degree centigrade less than the average adult. It’s also key to notice that the term “fever” means different things for different age groups. In babies under 3 months old, who are unable to regulate their own temperature, have a very weak immune system having only been in the world for a short time, and who are not yet fully vaccinated against serious diseases, it’s critical to pay attention to very slight increases in their temperature.
The feature on this thermometer is that you choose the age of the person whose temperature you are taking prior to each use. 0-3 months, 3-36 months, and 36 months and over. The thermometer then uses a simple green/yellow/red colour indicator on the display to show whether the patient’s thermometer is considered as a fever for their age group. Interestingly though, the colours do not seem to tally up exactly with the NHS guidance which states:
- 0-3 months – over 38°C = emergency
- 3 – 6 months – over 39°C = emergency
- Over 6 months – over 40°C = emergency
The Braun ranges do err on the overly cautious side of things, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. As with all home diagnosis and treatment, proceed with caution and always seek medical advice if you are unsure, it’s better to be on the safe side after all.
Speed of reading
Let’s face it, keeping your baby or toddler’s head still for long enough to take their temperature isn’t the easiest of things to do. Especially when they may be feeling so unwell that they are inconsolably crying. Having something pushed into their ear isn’t going to make them any happier, or less squirmy.
The Braun Thermoscan 7 IRT6520 takes the temperature reading within a couple of seconds of being held in the correct position in the ear. The thermometer ExacTemp indicator on the casing will light up and the thermometer will beep to signify the reading has been taken.
No more fighting for 5-10 seconds and hoping that you held the thermometer in the ear for long enough to get an accurate reading! Just another reason I think this is the best baby ear thermometer.
Something that a lot of ear thermometers are missing is a backlit display. You’ll only realise how frustrating this is when you actually have a sick child screaming in pain in the darkness, and you’re trying to soothe them back to sleep without putting the lights on to take their temperature, fully waking them in the process.
The Thermoscan 7 has a backlight on the display, so you can easily take your child’s temperature in the dark. It’s great for when they are asleep in their cot but you want to check on them before you get into bed yourself, for example if you’ve given them infant paracetamol to reduce their fever and want to confirm it is working.
No need to sneak into their room in the dark, using your phone as a torch to see the thermometer reading.
This sounds strange right? It actually has a dual purpose.
- To help the accuracy and speed of the thermometer reading. Since the tip is pre-warmed, it will be much quicker to react to the temperature of your child’s body and take that accurate reading.
- To avoid annoying or even waking your child from the sensation of something cold being inserted into their ear.
Most young children don’t like the sensation of having things put in their ear, and by having the pre-warmed tip, you take away some of the shock for them.
Celsius or Farenheit reading switch
Nobody uses Farenheit right?!?
Our friends over in the States still use imperial measurements religiously, and would have no idea about Celsius (also known as centigrade since the measurement runs on the metric system where measurements are split into tenths and one-hundredths, hence the “cent” of centigrade).
However, it’s also interesting to note that a lot of the older generation in the U.K. still do not fully understand Celsius, so by having both measurements as an option, you may in fact help keep your child safer – when grandparents are babysitting, they might want to use Farenheit.
Something which is an added extra expense for this thermometer is that it can only be used with the disposable plastic probe covers attached. The thermometer will not function without a cover on, and you really should change the cover with every use for hygiene reasons.
Sounds fine, until you realise that the covers have an RRP of £7.99 for a pack of 40. Again, sounds fine until your baby has an illness and you’re taking their temperature twice an hour in a panic. Not that you even care about the cost of the covers when you are in that situation, but you can see how this extra expense can quickly add up. Our son was hospitalised with a severe ear infection and required emergency surgery when he was just over 1 year old, and for about 4 weeks afterwards, we were constantly monitoring his temperature for signs of an infection around his surgical wound. We went through 2 boxes of probe covers within that time, but it was totally worth it for the reassurance that we were monitoring his fever accurately with the Braun Thermoscan 7 IRT6520. Since that illness though, we’ve probably only used the thermometer once or twice in nearly 12 months.
Value for money: 4/5
Price: RRP £50.00
Buy from: Amazon.com (currently £37.34 at time of writing)
Whilst not an absolute necessity, when you have a poorly child, you will really value having an accurate and easy to use thermometer in the house and ready to use at the click of a button. The thermometer comes with batteries and 21 probe covers included, so you do have everything you need to get started or to keep the thermometer stowed away until you really need to use it.
Please comment below on whether you have a thermometer in your household and whether you have ever used it. I would love to hear how essential an item you consider it to be, as sometimes I wonder if I’m just a neurotic mother! If you’ve found this article useful, please share with your friends.