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Mercury-filled, glass tube thermometers are still the standard for measuring body temperature, and they are used by doctors and pediatricians everywhere to check for a chill or fever. This type of thermometer is very inexpensive, and with a little soap and warm water, can be cleaned for the next user. However, other thermometers are available that offer faster measuring and greater convenience in reading.

Ear thermometers

Many hospital emergency rooms use hand-held ear thermometers, which can take accurate temperature readings from the ear. They can take the measurement in just a second and are battery powered. A disposable lens cover prevents ear wax contamination between users. These are quick and convenient, but can cost about five times more than other thermometers.

Mouth (oral) thermometers

Electronic versions of the old style mouth thermometer have a long probe the sits under the tongue. They usually beep when the temperature reading reaches its maximum (in about 30 seconds), and a digital readout shows the temperature for easy reading. These units can be also be used under the arm, or even rectally.

Special pediatric thermometers

A pediatric thermometer looks like a pacifier and can repeatedly take the baby's temperature over a 25 minute period. A musical tune alerts the parents when the temperature reading indicates a fever, though a digital readout also shows the results.For convenience at night or working around the house, a remote sensor is employed in a new style monitor (like an audio baby monitor) allowing you to monitor your baby's temperature from another room. The remote unit beeps or plays a tune to advise you that your baby's temperature has risen. A note of caution: reviews for these units have not been good, mostly complaining about accuracy.

Temporal scan (forehead) and no-contact thermometers

Using the same technique that your mother did by placing the back of her hand on your forehead when you were sick,
temporal scan and no-contact thermometers measure the blood temperature in the forehead and are at least as accurate as an ear thermometer. The no-contact variants don't even have to touch the skin. These units are great for not disturbing sleeping babies, but are expensive.

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