Sunday 16 January 2011

Boots Feverscan Forehead Thermometer

My first thought on taking this out of the box was that this has to be one of the least impressive products to look at that I've been sent to review ! I actually chuckled to myself because the white protective storage case looks just like a wider version of a pregnancy test ! Inside, you get a flimsy plastified paper strip and an instruction leaflet. But the important question is, does it actually work ?

Well, first of all, you need to be aware that you need to do a few trial runs with this thermometer before you actually need it, so don't wait for one of your kids to fall sick before pulling it out of the box. The instructions explain : "Before using Feverscan to monitor temperature changes, it is important to take temperature over a period of time when in good health to establish an average normal temperature. Feverscan should be used indoors at normal room temperature of between 20°C and 30°C (68°F-86°F). Do not take temperature after exposure to very hot or cold conditions or for 30 minutes after eating, drinking or exercising. Before taking temperature, the patient should lie or sit down for at least 5 minutes." Which could be easier said than done with a feverish child !

Once all these precautions have been taken, it's dead easy to use. You just lay the Feverscan on the patient's forehead, holding it firmly at both ends and pressing it up against a dry forehead (so careful if they have sweaty skin) for at least 15 seconds or until the liquid crystals have stopped changing colour. You must read the temperature before removing the Feverscan from your forehead so if you're taking your own temperature, you'll need a mirror close at hand.

The Feverscan only takes seconds to show the temperature and it's totally uninvasive, unlike some other contraptions that need shoving in ears or elsewhere and invariably annoy grumpy sick children, so it's ideal for babies and small tots. It is unbreakable but I did notice it has a use by date printed on the back so keep a check on this and replace it when necessary.

After use, it should be cleaned with a soft cloth and stored in its protective case until next time, out of strong sunlight, dampness or heat, in order to prevent the accuracy being impaired. Speaking of accuracy, it claims to be accurate to within 0.3°C.

I decided to test it on all three children and compare the results with my normal digital thermometer. The results weren't identical but were within 0.3°C each time so as long as you record the "normal" temperatures in good health as a point of comparison, I'd trust it to be sufficiently accurate to give you an idea of whether or not your child's got a fever.

The fact that it is so small, light and unbreakable makes it perfect for popping in a travel first aid kit or for keeping at the grandparents' or an occasional childminder's house.

star rating : 4/5

RRP : £3.49

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