When I first had a baby, I remember the frustration of buying a pricy baby thermometer–only you couldn’t actually use it on a baby under 6 months. D’oh. It’s amazing how far technology and thermometers have come since then.
Whether you have a baby or a big kid (or an adult around the house who acts like a big kid when he’s sick) here are two mindblowingly inventive thermometers we’re really excited about. Besides, they’re affordable! Yay for small favors when you have a sick kid. -Liz
Yes, non-contact. As in nothing in the ear, nothing in the butt, nothing touching anyone at all.
Developed by a pediatrician himself, you just aim this brilliant, FDA-approved device at the center of the forehead, 2-inches away, and get an accurate reading in seconds. It’s amazing for tracking the fevers of your sleeping kids without waking them up, or just getting a temperature without fussing. Plus, I love that there’s no germ sharing or little safety covers you pop over it, that you will totally lose on day one. (Ahem.)
As an added benefit, you can determine the surface temperature of an item (like a baby bottle or cold glass of water) and even get a room temperature reading. Plus it saves the last 32 readings so you can really track progress–helpful for reporting info to your pediatrician.
Now there are a few caveats: There’s a +/- .4-degree accuracy window and I find that while mine is consistent, it is consistently .4 degrees low. I don’t sense that all units have that issue, but I just know I need to add .4 degrees to the reading. Also, you really have to be exact with aiming it at the center of the forehead and making sure it the forehead clean and dry. Fortunately, that’s a minor issue for a thermomether that solves a whole lot of problems for parents.
The Kinsa Smart Thermometer
This Indiegogo project from a health-technology-design braintrust is getting a lot of buzz and for good reason.
Connect this thin, flexible thermometer to your smartphone and you not only get an accurate temperature reading quickly, but you can save the data and share with private groups. Of course I have no idea who you might really want to share it with besides your pediatrician–speaking of which, the app will let you schedule an urgent care appointment too, or send photos (rash? weird bug bite?) right to your doctor.
The longterm goal is that the app can be used to create a real time health map, so we can see if there are outbreaks in certain areas and be aware of the state of public health in your community. I love the idea in principle, and I’m glad the data goes out anonymously because I’m sure parents would have privacy concerns about sharing their kid’s lice mishap or Fifth’s Disease with the world. But if done right, think about it: the public health benefits could end up being, literally, lifesaving.
(Available for $19 donation on Indiegogo for a limited time; and for every one sold by Saturday, one will be donated to lower-income populations.)