on August 24, 2009
We recently purchased this ear thermometer after reading a number of positive reviews online. The cost initially gave us pause, but since this product will be primarily used on our small children quality, accuracy and reliability were important considerations and outweighed the cost factor. Our last two ear thermometers were unreliable and didn't last long. We've used this product reliably for a couple months now and are quite satisfied.
What recently sold us though was a recent Emergency Room visit to the Fairfax INOVA Children's Hospital which is a fantastic children's hospitals in Northern Virginia (our baby is now OK). While there we were surprised to see the doctors and nurses all using this same product. This is a state of the art hospital where they spare no expense, and they were using this ear thermometer. Their units are used constantly and if this product can stand up to that type of abuse, I'm sure it will work for us for years to come.
*** Update 1 - 1/26/2013 - Well over three years of use and it's still going strong. I'm still extremely satisfied.
*** Update 2 - 3/3/2014 - We had an ER visit this Saturday when my 6 yr old son dislocated his finger on a jungle gym and they used one of these to take his temp. Looks like they are still popular.
*** Update 3 - 3/24/2014 - This morning, after 4.5 years of surprisingly frequent use on our two young kids it's kaput. New batteries wouldn't revive it. Took my daughter to her pediatrician this morning (it's a large pediatric practice with 8-10 doctors) and guess what they used to take her temp? Yes, exactly, this same thermometer. I'll be ordering a new one from Amazon today.
Bought this couple of weeks back consequent to my son developing high fever and which fluctuated considerably. This caused the Red Cross $9.00 digital thermometer useless as it takes approx. a minute (under armpits) to record temparature. Our doctor advised us to buy Braun based ear thermometer.
First off - there are quite a models available. After taking to doctor and doing research - the 2 new models are IRT 4520 and IRT 4020. These are EXACT copies (all functionality) like their PRO 4000 versions!
The ExacTemp feature has a pre-heated tip which is more comfortable for the ear.
The older models (PRO 3000) is about $80, but uses lithium batteries and I don't think has pre-heated tip.
Has a "sort of" battery meter. Starts to show - that battery's low, flashing means - will effect results. (Very good)
Switch on, place tip (with tip cover, without cover, doesn't work)
push START and WITHIN TWO SECONDS you get the temperature.
Notes: Slightly hold the ear in order to place the tip INTO THE EAR HOLE to get best INTERNAL EAR CANAL reading. The readings are stored for access later - total 8 memory readings.
Auto shut-off: 60 sec.
The storage is into a white canister type case, which has HORIZONTAL standing (not good - as VERTICAL standing would have been better or if provided ALSO - good).
The given 21 nos. of lens caps are very little. Thankfully, the whole package of lens caps goes INSIDE the thermometer case, storing them together.
Size-wise it's a bit thick and thus slightly problematic to carry along but due to it's accuracy/etc. worth the hassle.
The ejector is very useful. Just press it and the lens cap is THROWN forward. Be careful, it's literally EJECTED out. (Point towards garbage can - I hit my wife's nose...;)
If you get covers for the PRO 4xxx series - you can use it with IRT 4520. That's very good. The batteries are regular AA series and last long. The IRT 4020 has 1 extra feature - has a protective plastic cap covering the disposable lens caps. That's actually very useful. So, if you get 4520 and 4020 at approx. the same price, I would opt for 4020.
There are some calibrations possible, but advice you NOT to do so. If you keep pressing the I/O button even after OFF, then you can switch between Celsius/Fahrenheit settings.
You can set the optimal temperature of the tip, define ambient room temp, etc - Keep i/o button pressed, after OFF starts to FLASH, there will be loud beep - immediately release the I/O button. Then keep pressing (short presses) of the I/O to switch to go thru the options stated above.
Note: ALTHOUGH NOT STATED, IT'S ADVISABLE to have the thermometer calibrated professionally *KAZ, in US* annually.
Weight - about 8 oz.
Any diff. between ExacTemp and non-Exac?
Yes - the pre-heated tip.
Any diff. btw the Professional (+$200) and this?
NONE in functionality, the PRO's just more heavy duty, with anti-theft features, base-station, etc. (all sold as accessories)
Any diff. btw this and the "Compact" one?
Yes - this has ExacTemp, has Memory functions, overall - quicker.
Does the PRO series lens cover fit?
Difference with IRT 4520 and IRT 4020?
IRT 4020 has a protective cover ON top of lens cover. IRT 4020 - difficult to buy. Pro 4xxx series REPLICATES IRT 4520, not IRT 4020.
Very accurate. I compared with mercury-based prof. thermometers.
Use the SAME ear (you'll notice each ear records diff. temp) Hold the ear slightly up, push gently the tip INSIDE and press "Start"
Can I use it "orally", rectum, arm-pits?
I don't think so, it's gonna be difficult, the tip's designed for ears. Although stated possible - can't imagine how.
Any features I would have liked?
Yes, the following:
(a) Memory feature has the date/time included
(b) The memory feature has the LEFT ear and RIGHT ear set. (i.e. 2*8 memory locations, at least)
(c) Ability to switch off the BEEP
(d) A 2nd. display where the "Start" button is to see the temp. immediately (priority - low)
(e) More thin - the overall product
(f) Lens covers are very costly
(g) The case should be able to STAND, not lying down only
[UPDATE} 12/2012: Still going strong, absolutely no complaints. Traveled with us thru Europe and Asia and back to NA. Used gazillion times with zero failures or problems!
on February 9, 2013
I have taken this to work at a hospital and compared it to the Pro model and they are not any different. My review is kind of a mix of comments I have posted in offering some information about these thermometers as some people have not had good results with them. It helps to understand the reasons for getting temps that frustrate you. As a nurse in critical care areas I have a lot of use with these and find them to be the best way (with the exception of a internal temperature probe placed in an uncomfortable location)I hope this is helpful.
Thermometers cannot read too high. The differing temps between ears are likely the result of method, like how you were pointing it into your ear, maybe differently between each one, or how clear the ear canal is, like is one side cleaner than the other. The difference between tympanic and oral is established to be different. There is an article on webmd that summarizes the typical ranges and differences between temperature locations. Many people falsely focus on getting the exact temp but this is futile because your body is always changing, heart rate, blood pressure, everything is in constant change based on environments. What you should be looking for is a trend, are you gradually going up in temp? or going down? I use the same style in the ICU and even there it is understood that you will have some slight changes even between ears, pick the one that is higher because that is more likely to be the cleaner best side. Don't get frustrated by the machine, just learn the correct use. (webmd com/parenting/rectal-ear-oral-and-axillary-temperature-comparison)
I don't like the forehead therms because I think it's too easy to lift off and drop my reading down. I absolutely choose the ear therm. I work in critical care in a decent sized hospital, all the nurses prefer the tympanic (ear) for fast accurate readings.
There are also known differences between age groups as far as temps go. Young kids, toddlers, infants have typically higher normal temps, while older adults have typically lower body temps, this has to do with the amount of metabolism/energy burning off. Everybody is different in their temps. Different methods of temp reading (like oral, ear, forehead) each have their own range that are a degree or two off, this is just natural that deep inside our body we are warmest and skin temp can drop with sweating and be cold while a body core temp is roasting (another reason I don't like the forehead scan). Oral temps can easily be skewed if eating foods of varying temps. Tympanic is also a degree or so different than a true core temp but this is all not important with a typical infection because the important information is which direction the temp is moving. Also behavior is very important especially with children; my child at age 1y had a temp of 104 (rectally, which I consider more true than any other home method) and was playing around and happy, I was not worried, I gave some medication and watched his behavior. Another toddler could have a temp of 101 and be flaccid and I would be racing to the ER. This may be TMI but it helps if you understand the context of the temp and the method of checking it. I hope this is helpful
on May 9, 2009
I am sure I am not the first parent who has had to try and keep a struggling child steady while waiting 2+ minutes for the thermometer to register a reading. In this regard, the Braun ThermoScan is ideal. It takes an accurate ear reading in just a few seconds! The probe also does not feel cold to the touch, so my child actually seems to like having her temperature taken. The only drawback so far is that the LCD panel is not back-lit. It is impossible to see the reading in the semi-darkness, and one has to go to a light source to check the measurement. Otherwise, a great product.
on April 15, 2014
I have had this thermometer replaced by the company and it's still having the same issue (This was just delivered this past week and is BRAND new!). It's obviously not as "unusual" a problem as they lead me to believe considering the reviews. Perhaps the 5 star reviews just take the temperature once and believe it. However, having a temperature of 101 upon waking seems highly unusual considering I'm not sick. So, in the same ear, same positioning in the ear, I do it again *immediately* after reading the 1st reading. Of course the reading is significantly different. So here's an experiment. I'm going to do this RIGHT now.
Right Ear (all done in approx. 3 second intervals)
Left Ear (all done in approx. 3 second intervals)
Lets just stop there. 100.9 to 98.8?!?!? I'm sorry but that's RIDICULOUS! How is this advertised as the most accurate store bought thermometer you can own?!? That is a HUGE difference. Both thermometers did this.
There has GOT to be a better one on the market. Their customer service is good (if you can navigate their HORRIBLE website and actually contact customer service), but the product is HIGHLY inaccurate and truly not worth the money. I am a mother of 3 under 5 and understand the value of quality products, that give me peace of mind about the well-being of my children. This is NOT one of those products.
(Just to address someone who thinks I am somehow "cooling" the ear every time I tested; I took a reading of each ear approx. 15 minutes after the initial readings and both ears were 98.6)
on November 9, 2013
Besides the fact that you can take 3 readings in each ear and get SIX different temps that range about 1.5°, there is a more irritating, egregious flaw: NO LIGHT. Before you buy this, think for a minute about how often you will need to take readings in a darkened room, PARTICULARLY if you have kids. Talk about design flaws. A simple, dimly lit background for the LED would have saved me and my wife a great deal of exasperation. Of course, this didn't occur to me before I bought it, but man, am I ever sorry, every time I use it. I have to bring a flashlight into the room with me -- or run back into the hallway before the LED fades -- or risk waking my daughters. Put that in the context of my first complaint: multiple readings required. "Gee, is my daughter's temperature 102° (no big deal)? or 103.5° (big deal)???" *sigh*
on March 26, 2011
I ordered this thermometer especially through a friend who lives abroad as I live in Israel and it sells here for around $80. I needed it since my wife and I had a newborn baby recently and as a responsible and enthusiastic father I wanted to have the best of everything for my baby.
The thermometer worked fine at first showing normal body temp when tested on me and on the baby. Two days ago our baby got a set of vaccines and the nurse said that increased temp might occur and that is was normal. At night we noticed some unusual behavior - the baby was a bit droopy and cried a lot, which was unusual. I checked temp 5 times and every time the temp was normal - 36.9, 37.1, 37.2, 37.0 etc. (Celsius). We attributed the baby's behavior to the vaccines and figured it was normal. We had a very bad night as the baby woke up several times and cried, was unwilling to feed, and was visibly uncomfortable and hotter than normal. Again we checked temp and it showed 37.2 which was still normal for a baby. At 6am after a mostly sleepless night I decided to check with regular digital thermometers rectally - I used THREE thermometers to make sure the results were accurate. All of them showed temp around 38.9! At the same time I checked with the Braun thermometer and it showed 37.3! We immediately gave the baby fever reducing syrup for babies and gave her a lukewarm bath to cool her down a bit. After several hours she was better and today she's back to her normal self being sweet and jolly.
I write to all parents here who want the "best" for their babies - don't buy this product. I will NEVER use it again as it has proven to be untrustworthy. I don't need a thermometer to show normal temperature accurately, I need it to show the ACTUAL temperature when I need to know that it's higher than normal. I can't state enough how disappointed I am at this product and how long it took me to suspect that its results were incorrect when it mattered. As new parents we are easily stressed as it is, we don't need such products to backfire on us when we actually need them.
on June 28, 2009
easy to use, however, screen does not light up so when you take temperature in the middle of the night (which if you have kids is all the time), you still need to turn on a light to read - a major shortcoming in my opinion
on January 20, 2014
I love this thing. It takes your temperature in a few seconds and it's really accurate. I think the people who found a difference in temperature when they switched ears may not have been using this correctly. To get accurate measurement you actually have to aim the reading probe (the part covered by the plastic disposable tip) towards your tympanic membrane (ear drum). I am a nurse practitioner and we use a similar model in the office, so I wanted to buy one for use at home and it has definitely come in handy. I measured both ears and it comes up the same (or maybe +/-0.1 difference which is absolutely fine). I am taking off one star because it is not a lighted display so you won't be able to read your temperature in the dark - it just means you have to either have a flash light or turn on your room lights to read, not a big deal. I think the more expensive model does have that feature, just in case that is something you really need. Also, you do need to have the disposable probe tip covers on before you can use it - it comes with a box of 30 - I just re-use the same one since I'm mostly only measuring my own temperature. When I measure my husband's temp I'll use a new one. If I was being really frugal I could also just label them and switch between them but the refills aren't too expensive either so if/when I run low I can buy a new one.
on April 11, 2009
I ordered the Braun Thermoscan Earm Thermometer in preparation for our new baby. Then, my husband, 8 yr.-old, and I all got the flu. This thermometer was so handy. The thermometer works so quickly and easily that I could take temperatures while my family slept. My son has autism and is especially sensitive to things like having his temperature taken, and he did not balk once with this tool. Overall, this is my favorite thermometer that I have used since becoming a mom. I am very happy with the purchase.
Update: Nov. 2013!! I still have this thermometer! It has been excellent- and obviously long-lasting! We just buy the ear covers and keep on using the thermometer!