Peace of mind when your baby is unwell, particularly when they’re very young and there seems to be so much more to worry about, is easier to come by when you have the right equipment at home.

Parents wonder: are these symptoms normal, or are they the sign of something more serious? How do I treat them safely? Is this a fever, or are they just warm?

Fortunately there are some wonderful digital thermometers on the market which provide fast, accurate readings on your child’s temperature allowing you to make confident decisions about the care for your child.

We’ve shared some of our favourites in the gallery below …

Peace of mind is easy to come by when you have the right equipment at home.

The dos and don’ts of taking baby’s temperature

CHOICE recommends the following for getting a more accurate temperature reading on your little one.

Dos:

    • Find out what your child’s ‘baseline’ temperature is when they’re healthy.
    • Always take your child’s temperature in the same way and in the same location: oral, rectal, armpit, ear, forehead, etc.
    • Read the thermometer instructions so you know how to use it and what kind of body temperature the thermometer is displaying – is it the tympanic (ear) temperature, or the oral equivalent?
    • Make sure your child stays still while you’re taking their temperature. (Easier said than done, we know!)
    • Make sure the ear thermometer is placed correctly in the ear, otherwise you may get an inaccurate reading. A build-up of earwax can also interfere with accuracy.
    • Any baby under three months of age who has a fever should be taken straight to the nearest emergency department.

Don’ts:

    • Don’t take your child’s temperature straight after they’ve bathed or showered, or after they’ve been active. It can raise their core temperature, so you may not get an accurate reading. If they’re sweating, it can also affect the reading of a forehead thermometer.
    • Don’t take your child’s temperature straight after they’ve had food or drinks, if you’re using an oral thermometer. Hot or cold foods could influence the reading. Wait 15 to 30 minutes before taking their temperature.
    • Don’t use ear thermometers on infants under six months – they’re generally not recommended due to the size of babies’ ear canals.
    • Don’t use forehead thermometers on infants under three months; they’re generally not considered accurate for babies this young.
    • Don’t bother using strip-type thermometers. Our testing has found that they’re very easy to use, but not very accurate.
    • Don’t use mercury or alcohol thermometers. If they break, they can cause injury or poisoning.