Measuring body temperature with a thermometer is the best way to check if someone has a fever. In order to do this, you need to have an idea about thermometers. This article is a quick guide that you can use to familiarize yourself with thermometers and for you to know how to measure body temperature with a thermometer as well.
The Different Kinds Of Thermometers
There are different kinds of thermometers you can choose from. It is essential to know the different types of thermometers so you can pinpoint which one best suits your needs. Knowing the different kinds of thermometers can also come in handy during an emergency situation. Knowing how to measure body temperature with a thermometer can also save someone’s life. So let’s get started and go through the different types of thermometers:
- Forehead thermometer – the forehead thermometer reads your body temperature using infrared technology. The infrared is directed to the temporal artery to get a measurement of heat. Although forehead thermometers are not the most reliable of digital thermometers, it reduces contact with the subject whose body temperature you are measuring. This lowers your chances of being infected if the person whose body temperature you are measuring has contracted a virus or flu.
- Plastic strip thermometers – The plastic strip thermometer can detect heat coming out of the subject. It works by attaching the strip thermometer to the subject just like you would with strip bandaid strip. These strips are not exactly that accurate when it comes to measuring temperature. Plastic strip thermometers work well as indicators for fever. If you would want to get an accurate temperature of your subject, best to use a different thermometer instead.
- Pacifier thermometer – The pacifier thermometer is commonly used for babies who are three months old and up. Pacifier thermometers do not have a very accurate reading, especially when the baby whose body temperature is being measured keeps on moving.
- Glass and mercury thermometer – A glass and mercury thermometer is the most common thermometer being used today. You can call it the poster boy of thermometers. It can be seen in almost every household emergency kit. The glass and mercury thermometer is made of glass with indicators usually in degrees. It uses mercury to indicate the temperature of the subject it comes in contact with.
- Digital thermometer – A digital thermometer is the fastest and most accurate type of body temperature reading apparatus. The reading is usually taken from under the tongue, rectum, or armpit of a subject. The digital thermometer is available in pharmacies and other medical supply stores. Measuring body temperature with a thermometer is easier using this method.
- Electronic ear thermometer – The electronic ear thermometer uses infrared technology to measure body temperature. An electronic ear thermometer is less accurate because ear wax can give out an inaccurate temperature reading. The electronic ear thermometer proves to be very useful for infants that are hard to keep still. They don’t take too long to give out a reading compared to non-digital thermometers.
How To Measure Body Temperature With A Thermometer
Measuring your body temperature with a thermometer is crucial to check for a fever. To effectively make a temperature reading, let’s check the steps on how to measure body temperature with a thermometer.
The thermometer must be set to zero before putting the apparatus in the body. This process depends on what kind of thermometer you have on hand.
- Digital thermometers – almost all digital thermometers can be set to zero by clicking the reset button. A reset button is also provided for the pacifier thermometer, electronic ear thermometer, and forehead thermometer. If the thermometer does not come with a reset button, shutting the instrument off and turning it on again will set the thermometer back to zero.
- Glass and mercury thermometer – The glass and mercury thermometer is set to zero by holding the tip and shaking the apparatus to bring the mercury down. Gravity plays a key role in setting the thermometer back to zero.
Place the thermometer in the location, usually indicated by the name of the thermometer itself. In the case of a glass and mercury thermometer, you can place it in the tongue, armpit, or rectum. This is also applicable when using a digital thermometer. Strips, on the other hand, are usually places in the forehead, neck, or arm.
After waiting a few seconds to a minute, the reading for your body temperature will be indicated in the thermometer. Now you know how to measure body temperature with a thermometer. Good job!
Things To Take Into Consideration When Using A Thermometer
When using a thermometer, it is best to take some necessary precautions to avoid accidents and injuries. That is why it is crucial to take into consideration a couple of things before taking someone’s temperature. With the availability of different thermometers in the market, it never hurts to be on the safe side of things.
- Double-check the thermometer you use – You wouldn’t want to insert a pacifier monitor in the armpit of a person; that would be absurd. So best to double-check your thermometer. It is crucial to have an understanding of the different thermometers available in the market today.
- Mercury is harmful and dangerous – When using a glass and mercury thermometer, make sure it is not damaged or cracked. Mercury is a very toxic substance that can poison and can be fatal.
- Check Batteries – Since most thermometers being used today are digital, checking the batteries is crucial for it to work. Batteries should be changed regularly, especially when a thermometer is frequently used, like in a hospital setting.
Body heat is an indicator of an illness. We must not take high body temperature lightly. It is essential to know how to measure body temperature with a thermometer accurately, especially during emergencies. Acting fast in times of an emergency can increase the chances of saving your life and the life of others. Just remember to breathe and stay calm, cause you already know what to do. Find out more about first aid.