But fast forward to modern times, and you'll see a new grade of thermometers that run on microchips and offer accuracy within 1/100 of a degree. Today's thermometers can digitally measure temperatures on your forehead, underarm, orally, rectally, and aurally.
David Gregg, senior editor of BehindTheBuy.com, shared some examples of the latest fever measurement gadgets that may give you peace of mind during as flu season kicks into high gear.
Vicks Baby Rectal Thermometer
Ages birth and up
Unique design features a short ComfortFlex probe tip for safe rectal readings.
Ergonomic for easy handling
Professional accuracy-10-second read time
Large backlit display
Beeps when reading is complete
Memory function recalls last temperature taken.
Waterproof for easy cleaning
Takes rectal measurements only
Winner of 2005 IDSA and MDEA design awards
Tender Tykes Digital Pacifier Thermometer Pacifier
Fast 90-second readout
Soothing "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star" lullaby fever alarm
Memory recall of last reading
Non-replaceable battery sealed for safety
Conforms to safety requirements of the US Consumer Products Safety Commission for pacifiers
MOBI Digital Ultra Thermometer
Measures body temperature from the ear or forehead and gives accurate reading in just two seconds
Features a unique human voice call-out feature when desired and mini flashlight for night time use without disturbing sleep
Comes with memory records that last 20 readings and large easy-to-read LCD display with backlight
Displays temperature in Fahrenheit and Celsius
Quick clean surface with no covers required
Timex - Accu-Curve - Oral Thermometer
Timex AccuCurve measures body temperature orally.
More comfortable than straight thermometers.
Curved Soft-tip takes oral temperature comfortably. Accurately finds hotspot under tongue.
Extra large digital readout with Indiglo night-light for easy night time viewing.
Measurement test time varies from 5 to 14 seconds depending on individual measuring methods.
Probe Cover NOT Required: Clean probe and sensor with soap and warm water or sanitize with 70% isopropyl alcohol and dry with clean cloth.
Instructions in English and Spanish.
Handy storage and carry case.
Contains: digital thermometer, storage case, 5 disposable probe covers, Battery (installed), English/Spanish instructions.
Recommended for all ages above 6 months.
HoMedics Underarm Digital Thermometer
Non-invasive method for professionally accurate temperature measurement.
Perfect for children and conforms to a child's arm for accurate ease of use
Probe oriented for proper measurement of axillary artery
Supersize display, 60-second measurement & last temperate memory recall
Automatic shut off for longer battery life
TraxIt Children's Wearable Thermometer
Wearable underarm thermometers. Continuously monitors temperature. Can check temperature while baby sleeps. Accurate - used by hospitals worldwide. Ages: Birth+. Pediatrician approved. Vicks Wearable Thermometers are: Accurate: +/- 0.2 degrees F. Gentle: Safe, gentle, medical-grade adhesive is latex-free, hypoallergenic and meets FDA requirements.
Peel off thermometer from backing and place on the side of body deep in the armpit (axilla). Lower the arm and hold closed. Wait 2-3 minutes for the first temperature measurement. Lift arm to read, thereafter readings are virtually instant - just lift arm to take the next measurement. The thermometer will adhere to the armpit through bathing and may be left in place for up to 48 hours on normal, healthy intact skin. To Remove: Gently peel off and discard thermometer. Do not reuse. To Read: Look at the temperature grid. The last drop to turn black indicates the correct temperature. Normal axillary temperature range is 97.0 to 98.6 degrees F.
$11.00 (pack of 6)
Lumiscope No Touch Thermometer
No need to disturb child
Includes mode to obtain surface temperature
F/C switchable function
Fever and Low battery indicator
Easy to operate: Large Button design
Easy to Read: Large LCD Display
Geratherm Mercury Free Oral Thermometer
A non-toxic and environmentally friendly way of measuring body temperature using the new measuring fluid.
Traditional shake down glass analog thermometer. Oral, nontoxic, mercury free thermometer with magnified optic case included for easy readability.
Quality magnifying case for enhanced readability Dual scale Fahrenheit and Celsius.
As accurate as mercury thermometers. Unique fluted design.
Hospital tested. Easy to disinfect or sterilize.