Fever is often mistaken as an illness. But in reality, it is a symptom or indication by your body that something is not right. Fever is manifested in the form of high temperature and other discomforts. Body temperature can be accurately measured using a thermometer.
These days a digital thermometer is preferred because, unlike a traditional thermometer, it does not contain mercury. You can find a wide range of digital thermometers at RS Components.
Normal body temperature is between 36 degrees Celsius and is 37.78 degrees Celsius. Body temperature is generally lower during mornings and increases as the day passes on. It can change according to activities, eating, clothing, and the time of the day. If the temperature reading is 38.8 degrees Celsius or higher it is always advisable to take the advice of your GP.
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Several types of thermometers are available to measure temperature. However, a digital thermometer offers the most accurate and quickest way to measure the temperature.
How to use a digital thermometer
No matter what type of thermometer you use, you should always follow the instructions that come with it. In the case of a thermometer that runs on batteries, it would be a wise move to check them. Weak batteries might show inconsistent readings.
You can use a digital thermometer in three different ways:
Oral: In this method, the thermometer is placed under the tongue of the person whose temperature is to be measured. This method is best suited for adults as well as children aged 4 and above, people who can hold the thermometer in mouth. A digital thermometer takes only about a minute to get a reading. Place the digital thermometer under the tongue until it makes a beep sound. The lips should be firmly closed, but one should not bite the thermometer. Once the thermometer beeps, remove it and read it.
Rectal: This method is usually done in babies but can use in children up to 3 years of age. While taking a temperature reading by rectum, use a probe cover with your thermometer, if available. Always use separate thermometers to take rectal and oral temperatures if you don’t have a probe cover.
Use a water-based lubricant on the end of the thermometer, put the child on its back with legs up, or on the stomach with legs down. Put the thermometer ½ inch into the rectum. Keep the child’s legs together so that the thermometer is not pushed out, hold the position until it beeps. Then remove it, wipe off the end with a tissue, and read it.
Axillary: In this method, the thermometer is placed in the armpit. However, this method is not as accurate as oral or rectal and hence is used as a quick first check. It can be followed by an oral or rectal reading. For reading the temperature, put the end of the thermometer in the center of the armpit. Make sure the clothes are not in the way. Keep the arm down, close to the side. Hold the thermometer tightly in place until it beeps. Remove the thermometer and read it.
Contactless digital thermometers are also an option. You just have to point the reader to the forehead and you’ll get a temperature reading within seconds.
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