Is it worth spending lots of money on a dermal thermometer?


I don’t know about your kids but my Miss 2 is as spirited and headstrong as she is lovely and loving. She does not like thermometers. Even in her sleep she will fight and push me away rather than having a digital thermometer stuck in her armpit and I can forget trying to take her thermometer orally.

I’ve become rather adept at estimating her temperature (with surprising accuracy) but it’s maddening when it’s diagnostically useful to know if her temperature is elevated. I decided that the solution was to try and buy a dermal thermometer like the doctor’s have.  There seem to be two types of these, ones that go in the ear (and often require ongoing purchase of disposable covers) and ones that can read from the forehead. The other issue with an aural (ear) thermometer is that its reading can be impacted if there’s a build-up of wax (so not necessarily that useful if they’re prone to frequent ear infections).

A brand name dermal thermometer like Braun can potentially cost USD$60 (NZD$90-150). I went searching online for reviews of several brands and the recurrent problem was that some people would be delighted and others would find that it just didn’t seem to be accurate. It seemed like a lot of money (on a very limited budget) to gamble on something that might not work so instead I decided to make a slightly riskier (but definitely cheaper) gamble on buying a generic one straight from China.

I have seen these listed by various online retailers and trading sites for anywhere for USD$30 (Amazon) and NZD$30 (TradeMe). Buying it direct from AliExpress cost USD$10 and included free international shipping. Ther are heaps of vendors on AliExpress so take the time to check quantities of sale and their feedback. Mine showed up very quickly and so far seems to be giving the same reading as the digital thermometer so I guess it’s working fine.

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