Ear infections are common and occur with regular frequency in newborns and toddlers, which affect the readings of infrared ear thermometers due to inflammation within the ear. Do not use an ear thermometer on an ear that is infected, injured, or recovering from surgery. Every day at wikiHow, we work hard to give you access to instructions and information that will help you live a better life, whether it's keeping you safer, healthier, or improving your well-being. Axillary measurements with a digital thermometer tend to be lower than other areas, with an average normal temperature being around 97.7°F (36.5°C). This temperature reading process takes a lot longer than a good digital meat thermometer, which can usually read the temperature in a few seconds. The spheres in the thermometer take a few minutes to float to the correct places. It's difficult to get readings in the 1/10 of degrees because the liquid crystals tend to show a range of temperature when they change color. For more accuracy, place the strip closer to the temple region of the head (over the pulsating temporal artery near the hairline). Wait about 15 minutes before taking your temperature if you've had a warm or cold beverage. Regular digital thermometers are pretty versatile and can record temperatures from the mouth (under the tongue), armpit, or rectum and are appropriate to use on newborns, toddlers, older children, and adults. Please consider making a contribution to wikiHow today. Mayo Clinic The right thermometer shows a very hot day. You can hang the thermometer inside or outside. Your support helps wikiHow to create more in-depth illustrated articles and videos and to share our trusted brand of instructional content with millions of people all over the world. Most healthy adults can tolerate fevers as high as 103–104°F (39–40°C) for short periods of time without having problems. Although many thermometers now have a digital reading, quite a few people have glass thermometers in their homes, and some facilities use glass thermometers in certain circumstances. Last Updated: January 3, 2020 Wait at least one hour after heavy exercise or a hot bath before taking body temperature from the axilla or anywhere else. They hurt you so much, and I hate it so much. [2] X Trustworthy Source Mayo Clinic Educational website from on… Fevers are reflective of an increase in your body temperature. Although most digital thermometers function in generally the same way, you want to make sure you understand how to use your specific instrument perfectly. However, they may read too low at … If I remove the plastic sleeve does it affect the reading for tympanic thermometers? Be especially thorough while cleaning your hands and thermometer after taking a rectal reading because E. coli bacteria from fecal material can cause serious infections. One should read mercury thermometer immediately after taking the temperature. In general, contact your doctor if: your baby (3 months or younger) has a rectal temperature of 100.4°F (38°C) or higher; your infant (three to six months of age) has a rectal or ear temperature greater than 102°F (38.9°C); your child (six to 24 months of age) and has a temperature reading over 102°F (38.9°C) on any thermometer that lasts longer than a day. Some research suggests that temporal artery thermometers are also good options for newborns due to accuracy and reproducibility. This article was co-authored by Diana Lee, MD. And most importantly, a digital meat thermometer will give you an accurate reading at the probe’s tip, not over an area of inches. Please help us continue to provide you with our trusted how-to guides and videos for free by whitelisting wikiHow on your ad blocker. Temperatures above 109.4°F (43°C) are almost always fatal (deadly). How long do I keep the thermometer under my tongue? Mild fevers are often beneficial because they represent the body trying to defend itself against infections. Hold the thermometer in the same spot for about 40 seconds. Dr. Diana Lee is a Family Medicine Physician in California. Readings will continue to increase and the F (or C) symbol will flash during measurement. There may be an on/off button, but you won't typically have to "activate" anything. It's called mercury. It tells both the indoor and outdoor temperatures. Mercury is toxic. Symptoms of high fevers (103–106°F or 39.4–41.1°C) often include hallucinations, confusion, severe irritability and convulsions — they are considered medical emergencies and you should seek emergency care immediately. Wait a few minutes or until it beeps to take the reading. http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/fever/basics/causes/con-20019229, http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/infant-and-toddler-health/in-depth/thermometer/art-20047410?pg=2, https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003400.htm, http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/fever/in-depth/thermometers/art-20046737, https://www.nursingtimes.net/clinical-archive/assessment-skills/measuring-body-temperature-06-11-2012/, http://adctoday.com/learning-center/about-thermometers/how-take-temperature, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0072538/, http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/fever/in-depth/thermometers/art-20046737?pg=2, http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/fever/basics/symptoms/con-20019229, consider supporting our work with a contribution to wikiHow. An ear temperature of 100.4°F (38°C) or greater is consider a fever, but if your child is older than one year and is drinking lots of fluids, playful and sleeping normally, there's usually no reason or need to treat it. Then, wait until it beeps before taking it out and checking the reading. My digital thermometer does not beep or register a number, why? Her research interests are diverse and include: cataract surgery, dry eye, thyroid eye disease, retinoblastoma and diabetic retinopathy. These are more expensive, usually used in the hospital setting, and utilize infrared technology to obtain readings at the temporal region. This article was co-authored by Diana Lee, MD. Reading a glass thermometer is a helpful skill to learn. For an underarm reading, place the thermometer in the middle of your armpit and squeeze your arm against your body to trap the heat there. For more tips, including how to take a rectal thermometer reading, read on! Don't touch it. Goodbye dry meat. It honestly depends on the model or a thermometer you have, so just google the thermometer you have and it should tell you how to change it. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends against using old-style glass thermometers that contain mercury. The key is to not hold the thermometer in your hands because your hands will warm it up and give a skewed reading. Do you know what's inside a thermometer? Using a regular digital thermometer rectally is very accurate, but likely the most unpleasant and messy way of recording body temperature. Digital ear thermometers are often considered the quickest, easiest, and least messy way of taking body temperatures. However, temperatures between 105.8–109.4°F (41–43°C), termed hyperpyrexia, are serious and require medical attention. She received her MD from Georgetown University in 2015. Hang the thermometer from a hook to find out the air temperature. 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