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Having a sick kid is no fun at all. Not for you and not for the child in question. And, the minute a cough is accompanied by a fever, you’re likely to move swiftly from concern into panic.

But first you need to diagnose that fever.

Choosing a Thermometer

There are a few things you need to know before starting the search for a baby thermometer.

First, if you have a mercury thermometer in the house, you must dispose of it properly. It’s not safe for you – and it’s not safe for the environment. Use this database to find the nearest hazardous waste drop off point.

Second, the American Academy of Pediatrics only recommends the use of rectal thermometers for children under 3 months. The primary reason is that rectal thermometers provide the most accurate readings and any fever in infants younger than three months is a matter for your pediatrician.

For reference, during the first few months, a temperature is defined as 100.4ºF or over. Between three and six months, it’s over 101ºF if your child has been immunized. After that, it’s temperatures over 103ºF.

There is some evidence to support a move towards temporal thermometers (such as our top Fave). But, in the first few months, stick to the rectal version.

Treating Fevers

You also need to know that pediatricians don’t advocate treating every fever with bed rest and cooling cloths. You should be more concerned with the comfort of your child. This video from the Today Show explains this advice very clearly. You may also notice another nod to our top Fave.

If you need help using a thermometer – after choosing one from our list formed after extensive research and the responses of real users – this guide from the American Academy of Pediatrics is wonderfully helpful.

And now, on to our Faves

Updated: 3 months ago