Accurate Fever Thermometers

Liz Quinones is one of 10 parents Consumer Reports asked to take home ten thermometers to try out on their kids.

The families checked out digital stick thermometers, used orally, as well as several infrared thermometers, used on the forehead or in the ear, to see how comfortable they are. Infrared thermometers are fast but pricey - ranging from about $40 to $80.

Back in the lab, testers assessed the thermometers for accuracy. They took the temperature of staffers without a fever, comparing the readings to those from a professional, medical-grade thermometer.

One thermometer tested works a little differently.

Nicole Sarrubbo with Consumer Reports found, ""The $80 Thermofocus BV 1500 non-contact thermometer looks cool. You don't have to touch any part of your body. Just line it up perpendicular to the forehead and move the two circles they merge into one."

But it doesn't beep to let you know the reading is done. And it wasn't as accurate as some others. Neither was a 50-dollar ear thermometer from Braun, the IRT 45-20.

But Consumer Reports did find infrared thermometers to recommend, including the 37-dollar Vicks model V-977. It works in three seconds or less and is very accurate. But it's important to follow the directions carefully.

Walmart's ReliOn Rigid digital stick thermometer is just as accurate for just three dollars. But the trade-off - it takes about a minute and 20 seconds to get a reading.

Consumer Reports says in addition to being accurate, the Vicks V977 is loaded with helpful features. It has a backlit display and colors that indicate a normal temperature, mild fever and high fever.


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