How to Use a Digital Thermometer

How to Use a Digital Thermometer [Step by Step Instructions]

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How to Use a Digital Thermometer
How to Use a Digital Thermometer

An accurate reading temperature of a person is a very vital tool during illness. There are different types of thermometers and we will provide information on how to use them.

With this information on if it’s time to get acquainted with your healthcare provider.

What is a normal body temperature?

The normal body temperature is usually about 98.6°F or 37 °C. A normal temperature can often varies from 1°-2°F (½° -1°C).

Normal temperature is usually low in the morning but it increases during the day. It remains high in the late afternoon or evening.

What Temperature is Considered a Fever?

In adults, the temperature of fever is 100.4°F (38°C) or above. But if it reaches 102°F (38.8°C) or higher you might need to apply some homecare treatment and if the homecare treatment doesn’t work then you should go and see yourself a healthcare provider.

Digital thermometer

A digital thermometer gives the most accurate and quickest temperature reading. Digital thermometers can be found in your nearest drug stores and supermarket pharmacies.

Usually, a digital thermometer costs around $6-$20. Be sure to follow the package instructions to use any thermometer.

How to Use a Digital Thermometer?

There are many ways of using a digital thermometer. A digital thermometer can be used in three ways. They are:

  • Oral
  • Rectal
  • Axillary
  • There are other types of thermometers:
  • Tympanic (ear) thermometer
  • Ear (tympanic) thermometer
  • Forehead thermometer
  • What types of thermometers aren’t recommended?
  • Plastic strip thermometer
  • Pacifier thermometers
  • Smartphone app thermometers.
  • Can I use my old mercury glass thermometer?

No, it’s not recommended to use an old glass thermometer because it contains mercury. These types of thermometers were to be found in every house and hospital before digital thermometers were available.

The mercury thermometers were hard to read and sometimes did not provide accurate information. The main reason that they are no longer recommended is that mercury is a poison and it can poison you as well.

This can happen if the glass breaks then the will mercury release. There are glass thermometers available that have no mercury but most people prefer to use digital thermometers that do not shatter.

How to Take a Temperature with a Thermometer?

How to Use a Digital Thermometers

Oral Thermometer

We are going to discuss the use of an oral thermometer. To do this, at first you need to wash your hands with soap and warm water.

You need to clean the thermometer as well. You can wash this with cold water or cleaned it with rubbing alcohol and then rinsed to remove the alcohol.

Before taking the temperature, do not eat or drink anything for at least five minutes. Because the temperature of the food or drinks could make the reading inaccurate. You should keep your mouth closed during taking temperature.

These pre-measure you need to follow before taking your temperature. Place the thermometer tip under your tongue. Hold the thermometer for 40 seconds in the same spot.

Readings will continue to increase and the F (or C) symbol will flash while taking the measurement. Usually, the thermometer will make a beep when the final reading is done.

It usually takes about 30 seconds. Clean the thermometer after taking the reading. For babies up to 3 years old use a digital rectal thermometer.

Rectal Thermometer

You need to wash the rectal thermometer with soap and warm water. Put a small amount of lubricant or petroleum jelly on the sensor of the thermometer.

Take your child on your belly down on your lap or table, with one palm on their back. Use your other hand and gently insert the thermometer into the anus.

After the tip is completely inside the rectum. You should not force it if you feel resistance. Keep the thermometer steady until you hear a beep. Gently remove and record temperature and time. After use clean the thermometer with soap and water.

Using a Digital Axillary (Same As Oral) Thermometer

Remove the child’s shirt and place the thermometer tip into the armpit of the child’s armpit. Make sure your child’s armpit is dry. It is necessary to get the most accurate reading. Keep the axillary thermometer steady in place by folding your child’s arm across his/her chest.

The thermometer will beep when the reading is done. Remove it and record the temperature and time. After every use cleans the thermometer with soap and water or with alcohol.

How Should I Clean and Store My Thermometer?

It is good to keep the instructions that come with your thermometer. You can refer back for questions like this. Need to clean your thermometer properly before and after you use it.

You can use soap and water or alcohol to clean the digital thermometers. You should rinse your thermometer afterward with lukewarm water.

If you are using a rectal thermometer, be sure to clean it thoroughly. Store it in so that you can tell immediately that it is the oral thermometer.

If your thermometer comes with a case for protection. You need to store your thermometer in the case.

Keep your thermometer in a dry place that is easy to find. It is not exposed to drastic changes in temperatures.

When Should I Call My Healthcare Provider?

If you have further questions about how to take a temperature, you might want to call your provider. They can give you tips about the best type of thermometer for your family and the best way to take your temperature or your child’s temperature.

It is good to ask things like how often you should recheck temperatures.

Call your healthcare provider right away as soon as anyone in your household has a fever and any of the following below:

  • Severe headache.
  • Stiff neck.
  • Swelling of the throat.
  • Confusion.
  • Any change that worries you.

Remember, you and your healthcare provider should act together to keep you and your family healthy. They will be glad to answer questions about what thermometers are best for you and your family.

As a fever is scary, it is also trying to tell you something. Your thermometer is your partner in knowing what is being said and how should you respond.

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