Product Type: Ultracare baby products
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Not the Ultra-Mate Method of Temperature Taking for Toddlers!
Ultracare Digital Thermometer
Member Name: jo1976
Ultracare Digital Thermometer
Date: 25/02/13, updated on 15/08/13 (68 review reads)
Advantages: Inexpensive, compact, simple design, easy to read results, provides last temperature reading
Disadvantages: Cannot take temperatures in-ear, very difficult to get accurate readings for babies or toddlers
Despite bringing up my two oldest children and nursing them both through umpteen illnesses without the aid of a digital thermometer, when I had my youngest son I felt the twinges of maternal guilt and decided that I really ought to invest in one. Having managed for so long without a digital thermometer, I only really wanted to buy a fairly inexpensive model so I was inspired to purchase this rather basic thermometer from Ultracare having read a positive review on Dooyoo.
When the thermometer arrived, it was much smaller than I'd anticipated and very minimally (but securely) packaged, complete with a surprisingly sturdy plastic case which keeps the whole thing securely and hygienically covered including the probe. Its small proportions and slim probe looked ideally suited to use with small children. It was only when reading through the single sheet of fairly clear and informative instructions provided that I discovered something that I hadn't fully appreciated prior to purchase. Whilst this compact little thermometer boasts three different methods of taking temperature, the methods are actually orally, under armpits or rectally. I had mistakenly assumed that one of the three methods would be the typical in-ear method commonly used by GPs. Unfortunately, that is not the case with this basic model.
Like most parents of babies and toddlers, I find taking temperature readings via ear the easiest and least distressing method for very young children so this was a serious drawback, particularly as I had purchased this specifically for use with my youngest child who was only around seven months old at the time of purchase. Luckily, he was a few months older by the time that I needed to use this for him, but due to the methods involved, this was certainly not a very user-friendly thermometer for a poorly baby and the results I achieved reflected the difficulties that I experienced in actually taking a reading.
This Ultracare thermometer claims to be highly accurate but it can be extremely difficult to take a reading at all due to the length of the time the entire process actually takes, even for adults or older children. When used orally, the advice is to keep the mouth closed for five minutes or so, before even taking the temperature, in order to obtain an accurate reading. It then takes up to two minutes with the small metal probe end in the back of the mouth, for the correct reading to show. Obviously, this seems like a lifetime when dealing with a crying poorly child who isn't willing or able to co-operate with the process.
I must admit that I haven't tried using this rectally (as this was purchased as a shared family thermometer!) Taking the temperature via armpit is slightly easier as I can cuddle my little one tightly with the thermometer in place. It, again, takes a couple of minutes to take a reading which can still feel like an absolute age when seeking some reassurance for a poorly child. Unfortunately, despite being the easiest method for babies and toddlers, the enclosed instructions advise that this method is the least reliable.
Once a reading is obtained, the thermometer beeps several times to confirm a successful reading, with different sounding alarms used to indicate if the temperature is dangerously high or low. (Fortunately, I've never experienced this.) The temperature reading itself is clearly displayed on the small LCD screen and remains visible for several minutes, before automatically switching itself off to preserve battery life. There is also the useful addition of a display showing the last recorded temperature every time the thermometer is switched back on, which is handy if you are taking a temperature at regular intervals and want to check back on any deterioration or improvement.
The quality of the thermometer itself is fine. It has proven to be surprisingly robust, despite its rather slim and dainty appearance and it is relatively straightforward to use (with a willing patient) with just a single display and a single on/off button to operate. Certainly with use by an adult, I've found the readings to be consistent and reasonably accurate, helping to offer some reassurance or confirm fears. Sadly, the period when a thermometer is most frequently needed is during early childhood and this just isn't particularly user-friendly for babies or toddlers. I use this occasionally, more so on my older sons than my now troublesome two year old, but more often than not I resort to that good old-fashioned method of mother's instinct and a trip to the doctors for confirmation/reassurance.
I purchased this from Amazon almost two years ago and paid a total of £6.94, including postage costs, from a third party seller. The thermometer is currently available on Amazon for slightly less (around £5.25, inclusive of postage) again from a third party seller. This is clearly an inexpensive purchase and a handy inclusion for a home first aid kid and peace of mind but best suited for adults and older children, rather than a young family.
I'm happy to recommend this neat little thermometer as a budget option for adults but would advise any parents wanting to take the temperature of a baby or young child to invest in something a little more user-friendly for little ones, preferably with the inclusion of in-ear readings to minimise distress.
Summary: An inexpensive and easy to use digital thermometer best suited for adult use