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This Smart Forehead Thermometer Makes Cold Season With Little Kids So Much Easier

No more remembering temperatures and medication times.

Originally Published: 
Had To Share
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There are many ways to decide if your kid needs to stay home from school, but I usually rely on the tried-and-true method: ye olde temperature check. Over the six years of our son’s life on this planet, we have figured out that our kid is a fever kid. Some kids are barf kids, some are snot fountains, but for our firstborn, fevers come on hot and fast to let us know he’s fighting something. Once we’d graduated from the — ahem — way you have to check a baby’s temperature, we used an in-ear thermometer. It seemed accurate enough, but our kid really hated it and (understandably but frustratingly) fought having his temperature taken when he felt crummy.

Then, one fateful day, my technologically-inclined husband was poking around the FSA store and decided to give the Withings Thermo Smart Temporal Thermometer a go. This contactless beauty makes temperature checks a breeze for us and for our kids, and I’m so glad we splurged on it. Yes, it’s pricey, but dropping $100 one time in exchange for many years of easier cold seasons? That’s a price I’m willing to pay.


  • Price: $99.99
  • Pairing: Connects to your smartphone via the Thermo app, available for iOS and Android.
  • Who it’s for: Everyone. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), new research suggests that temporal artery thermometers (like the Thermo) are accurate for children as young as 3 months of age.
  • When to use: Any time you suspect your child has a fever.

The specs

This snazzy, sleek thermometer is indeed “smart” — as in, it connects to Wi-Fi, sends temperature logs to your phone via Bluetooth (if you want it to) and all of that. But it’s also, thankfully, extremely easy to use. (And yes, your small children will want to play with, so store it up high, my friends.) The Withings Thermo:

  • Has a truly easy-to-read LED-lit temperature display.
  • Takes two AAA batteries (and comes with them). The brand says the Thermo’s battery life can last up to two years before needing some new AAAs.
  • Uses a number of infrared sensors to measure temperature via an artery in your forehead without needing to touch your body.
  • Measures body temperature based on that artery, which they say is particularly accurate because it flows directly from your core. Studies have found that temporal artery is a valid way to check body temperature in children, and many clinics and hospitals have begun using devices like this because of the comparative ease of contactless temperature checking.

What does “smart thermometer” really mean?

Between you, me, and the Children’s Motrin, the fact that Withings wants me to put their app on my phone so I can use the thermometer to track “up to eight people’s” temperatures and symptoms exhausts me. But if you just love to track stuff and add apps to your phone, more power to you. Withings is right there with you, offering an app that will talk to your Thermo via Bluetooth and keep track of various temperature changes, health notes, and so on. You can create user profiles for as many as eight people who use the thermometer and the app will help you keep track of it all.

However, if you are like me and would prefer to just let it all wash over you, you can just use it to take your kids’ temperature (or your own, or your spouse’s), glance at the number, make a decision, and move on. The AAP has been on a campaign for a while now to try to help families understand that, although low-grade fevers are a sign that the body is fighting an infection — and a good reason to keep your kid home from school — they are not an emergency and don’t require treatment (unless your child is very uncomfortable). So, with the help of the Thermo, we can decide if it’s time to watch and wait, or break out the Motrin.

How to use the Thermo contactless thermometer

Unsurprising: temporal artery thermometers are thermometers that measure your body’s temperature via a temporal artery (an artery that is in your forehead). For the most accurate results, you need to have the Thermo’s sensors about a centimeter from your head, then you press the button on the thermometer. When you see the little dots appear on the display, just slowly, steadily run the thermometer across your forehead. Voilà! You’ll see a really easy to read digital display showing the temperature reading. If you’re worried at all that you didn’t quite catch the temperature the first time — maybe your kid wiggled — it’s such a light lift to take it again (in contrast to ear or mouth thermometers).

Thermo also touts that the contactless nature of the thermometer means you can easily check your child’s temperature while they sleep, but I can’t personally vouch for this.

One caveat about temporal artery thermometers, though; some recent research has suggested that they may not be as good at detecting fevers in Black patients, so it may be a good idea to talk with your doctor or health care provider about whether or not the Thermo is a good investment for your own family.

Pros & cons


  • It’s as accurate as an in-ear temperature reading, according to not just the manufacturer, but the AAP.
  • It’s so easy to use, your sensitive kid will let you check their temperature probably as often as you’d like to.
  • Using the app, you can easily track your child’s temperature changes and note when you last gave them Tylenol or Motrin. You can also pull up the log to show your pediatrician instead of trying to remember everything on the spot.
  • Two years is a solid battery life.


  • It’s not the cheapest thermometer out there by a long shot.
  • There are some studies that suggest temporal artery thermometers may not be the most accurate way to measure temperature in adults, so if you need specific, perfect accuracy, you may be stuck with an in-ear thermometer.

The final verdict

It’s not often that pricey-but-worth-it items, ones that make parenthood just a little bit easier, are available in the FSA store. If you’ve hit the end of the year and you’ve got a little FSA money to burn, you could do worse than burning it on one of these sleek, smart Withings thermometers.


The Withings Thermo is a splurge-worthy temporal artery thermometer that takes the hassle out of checking your kid’s temperature.

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