Ear thermometers Vicks Gentle Touch Behind Ear thermometer V980
Vicks calls the Gentle Touch Behind Ear thermometer a ‘revolution in the way a child’s temperature is taken’ - it doesn’t use a probe to go inside the ear canal but is gently pressed to a spot behind the ear. We asked a parent to carry out a first look review of this model - were they impressed?
Simple and intuitive design
Our parent immediately liked the Gentle Touch’s look and feel: ‘It’s a very simple design, and nice and comfortable to hold.’ It’s obvious straight away what button to press to turn it on and what button to use to take a temperature. There’s also a helpful diagram on the thermometer to show the user where to position the sensor ring behind the ear.
The Gentle Touch comes with a detailed instruction manual, which includes information about normal body temperature ranges (behind ear temperatures are likely to be slightly lower than in-ear, rectal or oral temperatures). It also includes a handy quick-start guide, which has lots of diagrams showing correct and incorrect use.
Vicks says that the thermometer uses ‘a novel heat flow technique’ to measure the temperature of the carotid artery, which runs behind the ear. Our parent found it easy to use the thermometer on her two-year-old and felt that she had positioned the sensor ring correctly. You have to hold the start button in for one second and a long bleep lets you know you’ve got a successful reading. The readings our volunteer received seemed accurate as far as she could judge.
She tried positioning the sensor in several incorrect places and, in most cases, was rewarded with an error message, suggesting that incorrect use is quite difficult. If you don’t get a successful reading, you have to wait 10 seconds before trying again.
A gentle touch
Our mum thought that one of the biggest advantages of this thermometer is that, as the name suggests, it really is very non-invasive, quick and should be easy to use without disturbing a sleeping a baby too much (although it does bleep to let you know the reading has been successful).
Another nice feature is the traffic-light display - green for a normal reading, yellow for a slight temperature rise and red for a possible fever. This also acts a backlight, allowing you to read the display easily in the dark.
There’s also a memory function which stores eight temperature readings and is easily accessed by pressing a button.
It takes one 3V lithium battery and comes with a two-year guarantee.
Where to buy the Vicks Gentle Touch Behind Ear thermometer
Pros: Non-invasive, intuitive design, colour-coded display
Cons: The bleep to tell you you’ve got a reading is quite loud and might disturb your sleeping baby, despite efforts to make this thermometer as non-invasive as possible