- Easy to use
- Backlit screen easy to read
- Expensive to buy
- Expensive to replace ear pieces
- Can't use with small baby
- Bright screen can be blinding at night
As typical anxious parents of a first-born, we are the proud owners of a plethora of thermometers. After all, checking the little one’s temperature is the first port of call when something doesn’t seem right. Baby awake suddenly in the middle of the night? Check the temp. Baby not eating? Check the temp. Baby feels warm? Check the temp. If you have a baby or small child, you know the drill.
After some experimentation, the Braun Thermoscan is our go-to thermometer. Nothing else that we own compares for ease of use and accurate results.
The Braun Thermoscan works by measuring infrared heat generated by the eardrum and surrounding tissue. It provides results within a matter of seconds. Exact placement takes some initial getting used to (especially in tiny ears), but after a few goes I found that I could confidently place it in such a way that would return accurate and consistent (usually within .2 degrees Celsius) results. It is so easy to use that I often check both of Hannah’s ears a couple of times (out of pure parental paranoia) without it producing any noticeable discomfort for her.
The screen is bright and easy to read in any light conditions. The temperature readout is large and the display is uncluttered, providing only necessary information. The thermometer also displays the previous recorded temperature when it is first turned on, which can be handy when checking the impact of efforts to reduce temperature (paracetamol, air-conditioning, drinking water etc.).
The bright screen can be a bit of a hindrance when checking temperature in a dark room, as it can be a little blinding. This makes correct positioning difficult. I recommend turning the thermometer on, then allowing the screen to go dark before trying to position it in such circumstances.
One of the selling points for us was that most of the doctors that we have visited (and we’ve seen a few) use this (or similar Braun) product. While I understand that there is a huge element of convenience in it from a doctor’s perspective, I still believe that they wouldn’t use it if it didn’t provide them with fairly accurate results.
The Braun Thermoscan isn’t perfect, but I’m yet to find a thermometer that is. The earpiece is too large to fit tiny new-born ears, so an alternative will need to be sought in the first couple of months if you are an expecting parent. We found that a digital under-arm thermometer produced reasonable results (albeit far slower) when Hannah was a new-born (I can’t even imagine trying to get Hannah to stay still long enough for an accurate under-arm reading now!).
The Braun Thermoscan is also expensive, both the initial purchase and the ongoing supply of earpiece covers (these are essential for maintaining function and hygiene). However, for us this cost is easily justified when we are able to quickly and accurately check Hannah’s temperature in the middle of the night. On several occasions, she has slept right through having her temperature checked.
One tip is to shop around for replacement earpieces. Your local chemist is unlikely to be the cheapest place to buy them, whereas some Ebay or Amazon shops sell them in bulk at heavily discounted prices.
Despite its price and ongoing running costs, the Braun Thermoscan is the thermometer that I recommend for your first-aid kit. It provides a fast and accurate ear temperature reading in a way that doesn’t provide much extra discomfort to your child (it is also just as accurate on adults, Emma and I use it all the time to check our own temperatures). When your child is crying at 3 am (why is it always 3am?), you’ll probably agree that it is well worth the cost.