Forehead Thermometers – The Greatest Thing Since Sliced Bread, but…

Why the hell do these stupid things have a memory recall on them.  Better yet, why are they always showing you the last temp read.  Like BTW two weeks ago your kids forehead read 99.1 – okay, so what.  As with anything, I’m sure there are people who like that feature, or need it for a specific purpose.  Though most of us only need to see the temperature once.  It’s pretty easy to remember, given that these thermometers are designed with children in mind and that said child’s health is paramount to the parent means they aren’t likely to forget.

Our Experiences:

We have the Wal-Mart ReliOn brand currently and aside from the memory recall complaint the device actually works pretty well.  In all fairness the memory only shows for a second or two when you power on the device.  It was also very affordable, I don’t recall exactly, but I think I only paid about $10.


We have used it in conjunction with a traditional thermometer and found that they gave similar results (though don’t forget, foreheads read cooler than the mouth, armpit or elsewhere…).  One other downside on this model is that the battery cover comes off very easily and can be bumped lose from regular usage.

We purchased our previous forehead thermometer at K-Mart for $50.  It was a Vicks so I figured it would work well.  Considering we had to buy another you’ve probably already figured out that this one crapped out on us.  We bought this one in 2013 just after our first child was born.  I thought, better get a good one and we can amortize the cost over the years of use we’ll get from the thing, right?  Wrong!


It looks pretty cool, well packaged, the actual device has a nice overall design with a comfortable grip.  It certainly looked better than all the rest on the shelf.  Sadly though, within two years it was broken.  It never really worked very well to begin with, frequently turning off while it was supposed to be reading the temperature as well as sometimes getting stuck in memory mode.  I mean hell, if your kid is sick, you need to read their temperature right now.  And if they are sick, they probably don’t have the patience for you to try and take their temperature over and over again because your POS thermometer keeps on messing up.  Its life ended when it got permanently stuck into memory mode and we finally gave up and threw it out.

A Quick Word On Ear Thermometers:


We very briefly tried a Walgreens ear thermometer after the Vicks thermometer broke.  Unfortunately we weren’t sure about the temperatures it read out.  Additionally it doesn’t seem like most kids can sit there with this thing in their ear long enough to get a reading.  Even more, the ear part is too big for younger children on this particular model.  So there is another $20 in  the toilet…

Now what did I learn?

Perhaps nothing I suppose.  I’m sure I knew already at that time that you should always research products before you buy them.  However, spending the better part of $100 on thermometers in less than three years should teach me something too.  But truth be told, when I bought the ReliOn type I just went out to find a cheap one.  Maybe what I really learned is that you don’t necessarily get what you pay for.

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