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It was around 18 months ago now that we purchased this Braun Ear Thermometer when daughter managed to contract the dreaded diarrhoea and vomiting bug that was going around at the time. We were advised to keep an eye on her temperature throughout the course of the illness just in case it was actually something more sinister or for any reason got worse. This left us in need of something that we would be able to take our daughters temperature with as a thermometer was something we had totally overlooked thus far. The advice of the doctor that saw was to try and get an ear thermometer if we could afford one, being as these are usually the most convenient way of getting a reliable and consistent reading of an irate, and unwell baby's temperature. So that was a trip booked to the nearest supermarket to see what they had on offer in the way of thermometers and a chance to see if the prices were anything near as scary as the doctor made out.
Price and Spec:-
When I spotted the Braun Thermoscan IRT3020 Compact Ear Thermometer, (to grace the product with its full title) it may not come as a surprise that it wasn't the name that caught my eye, it was simply the fact that this was actually the only Ear Thermometer on display at the time. Without a selection of similar products to compare prices with, the price tag of £32 which was actually a special offer at the time did seem steep but not as much as the £40 that the doctor warned us that these could retail for. The only other thermometer really suited for infant use on display was the hold it under the armpit or up the bum probe type thermometers which promised to be a nuisance at either end with a grouchy toddler and not very accurate so we decided it would be a hell of a lot kinder for baby and convenient for us to go our separate ways with our £32 and purchase the Braun Ear Thermometer.
I will just quickly list the main spec here for those who want quick access to it without reading the whole review, it's only a short list but gives a rough idea of the thermometers uses and functions:-
LCD temperature display
1 x AAA battery supplied
Temperature just 1 second after pressing button.
Small soft tip suitable for all ages (warms up quickly)
Auto shut-down to maintain battery life.
Displays temperature in °F and °C.
The Braun Ear Thermometer was supplied in a vacuum packaged plastic outer; the typical type that you need two pairs of hands and power tools to get into, the only bonus with this sort of packaging is the fact that the consumer can see exactly what is in the pack, however risks shredding their hands or sending the product flying whilst trying to remove it from the packaging. The thermometer is displayed well inside the packaging with a smart but uninspiring card insert giving the spec and Braun brand name, with the thermometer caps, and spare tips laid out so as to give an idea as to how it all fits together.
The instructions for the thermometer are printed on quite a small leaflet so as it actually fits in the packaging, but this means that the text is also very small. Whilst being difficult to read because of the size of the text the instructions are very informative, giving a temperature chart of normal ranges at different sites of the body, along with clear details of how to use, maintain and store the thermometer so that the consumer gets the maximum life from it possible.
Once the thermometer was carefully removed from the package to avoid the loss of the smaller cap and tips for the thermometer it was simply a case of pushing the tip onto the probe end of the thermometer and trying to discreetly get it close to our child's ear. To take a temperature is simply a case of pressing the start button, waiting for the display to appear, then holding the thermometer lightly to the ear so it seats well but doesn't actually enter the ear canal. Then it is just a case of pressing the start button once the thermometer is where it is needed and it will give a reading after just 1 second, this is a quick easy and stress free procedure with the added bonus that the Braun thermometer is just about small enough to hold discreetly out of sight until it is needed creating an absolutely minimum amount of fuss. After the 1 second there is a beep and the temperature is displayed in bold easily read numbers on the LCD screen on the side of the thermometer.
Once the thermometer has been used it is advised that the cap that has been used to take the temperature is thrown away for obvious hygiene reasons. The caps cost around £3 for 20 and it is advised in the instructions that these are single use only; as our little one is the only one that uses this product meaning we aren't using ludicrous amounts of these we have been abiding by this as they are made from thin plastic that will not go through a sterilizer and the shape makes them tough to wash. We have accidentally used the thermometer without an ear-piece but a quick clean round with a cotton bud soon had it clean enough considering new caps will be used each time.
The battery is easy to replace it is simply a case of sliding the battery cover off of the handle and replacing the 1 x AAA battery with a new one and replacing the cover. Whilst I have had a look at how to change the battery for the purposes of this review we have not actually had to replace the battery in the 18 months we have had it as the thermometer only comes out on rare occasions when our daughter is ill. For when the thermometer is not in use there is a cap made from thicker and more durable plastic than the lens caps for taking a temperature, that fits over the probe of the thermometer to save it from any damage that may occur during storage.
When we were first advised to purchase one of these thermometers, and despite being a keen adopter of new technological items, I was actually a bit dubious as to whether this would be more of a gimmick designed to part me from my hard earned cash when I could get equally accurate and convenient results with a cheaper but equally efficient product. This said I am now actually glad that we bought this product, because as an alternative to trying to gain a temperature reading by holding a probe in an orifice or crevice of a wriggling 6 month old for several seconds it is a god send. I am sure many will appreciate that a 6 month old child will not stay still for long anyway and after seeing a thermometer that is going to be used on them their efforts at wriggling seem to double. The fact that the Braun 3020 Compact Thermometer is small enough to hide in the palm of my hand and gives a reading in just a second from my child's ear has made it worth its weight in gold when we have needed to use it.
I have actually only used this as an ear thermometer on a child so therefore this has been the main perspective of my review. However I have had consistent and pretty accurate results whenever I have used it, the temperature reading only differed by 0.2 of a degree when compared half hour later to the doctors far more expensive bit of kit that measured her temperature in the same way and this was a year after owning it so the calibration of this device that takes place in the factory also holds up well. The fact that this product works well on babies giving accurate results time after time, I feel speaks volumes for the functionality of this product, I am left without a doubt that whatever avenue of use this thermometer is destined for, with either adults or children will give good results and continue to do so for quite some time afterwards.
I feel that the only thing that let this down when I first purchased this product was the price however I have had a look around and they can now be purchased for between £20 - £25 so I won't be knocking off the star I would of here, but I will however be knocking a star off for the inconsiderate packaging. I believe there are better ways to supply products than in the near impossible to get into vacuum packed plastic with crimped edges. So overall a great product with its only let down being the packaging 4/5 stars from me for a great product that has actually made my life easier when I've most needed it.
Braun ThermoScan 3 Compact Ear Thermometer IRT 3020 is manfactured by Braun / Braun ThermoScan 3 Compact Ear Thermometer IRT 3020 is a excellent product / You can now purchase Braun ThermoScan 3 Compact Ear Thermometer IRT 3020 from Pharmacy First / Braun ThermoScan 3 Compact Ear Thermometer IRT 3020 has been very successful since its introduction by Braun.