Having a reliable medical thermometer at home can be incredibly helpful. The ability to accurately find out if someone has a fever gives you much-needed information about important next steps in your care.
There are many types of contact and non-contact thermometers to choose from. The ages of members of your household, as well as your personal preferences, can help you determine which types of thermometers to buy.
Like any other device in your home, it’s important to understand how your thermometer works. Not all types work the same way or are designed to provide the same temperature readings.
The inventor Anders Celsius developed a numerical scale, called the Celsius or Centigrade scale. This scale was based on a scale of zero to one hundred where the freezing point of water is zero, the boiling point of water is 100 degrees and normal body temperature is 37 degrees.
The first real medical thermometer was invented by Sir Thomas Allbut in 1867. It was six inches long and took about five minutes to take a person’s temperature.
- 1 What is professional thermometer?
- 2 Reliable Methods to Measure Temperature
- 3 Professional medical thermometer
- 4 Best medical thermometer for home use
What is professional thermometer?
Professional diagnostic thermometers are comfortable for the patient and provide accurate readings every time. They are manufactured to withstand the rigors of clinic, hospital, and research work, and are of the highest quality.
Thermometers come in a variety of styles. Understand the different types of thermometers and how to pick the right thermometer for you.
Choosing the thermometer that’s best for your family can be confusing. Here’s what you need to know about the most common thermometers.
Professional digital thermometer
Professional digital thermometers use electronic heat sensors to record body temperature. These thermometers can be used in the rectum, mouth, or armpit.
- Armpit temperatures are usually the least accurate.
- Rectal temperatures provide the best readings for infants, especially those 3 months or younger, as well as children up to age 3.
- For older children and adults, oral readings are usually accurate — as long as the mouth is closed while the thermometer is in place.
If you plan to use a professional digital thermometer to take both oral and rectal temperatures, you’ll need to get two digital thermometers and label one for oral use and one for rectal use. Don’t use the same thermometer in both places.
Professional ear thermometer
Digital ear thermometers also called tympanic thermometers, use an infrared ray to measure the temperature inside the ear canal.
Professional temporal thermometer
Temporal artery thermometers — often sold as forehead thermometers — use an infrared scanner to measure the temperature of the temporal artery in the forehead.
Digital pacifier thermometers
If your child uses a pacifier, you might want to try a digital pacifier thermometer. Your child simply sucks on the pacifier until the peak temperature is recorded.
Reliable Methods to Measure Temperature
Measuring Body Temperature: Change in body temperature is one of the most important indicators of illness.
It is important that accurate temperatures be taken. Even though the professional thermometer is used in a similar manner to the glass thermometer, instructions for use of this thermometer must be followed closely, and the person taking the temperature must understand body temperature.
A persons’ body temperature is usually several tenths to one full degree lower in the morning than in the late afternoon. Therefore, if your temperature in the morning is 97.9°F (36.6°C), it could be 98.4°F (36.9°C) or more in the late afternoon and still be normal.
To determine what your normal body temperature is, you should take your temperature both in the early morning and late afternoon over several days.
Children have the same normal temperature range as adults. Fever bor both children and adults is typically defined as an oral temperature higher than 99.5°F (37.5°C).
Exercise, excessive clothing, hot bath, hot weather, and warm food and drink can cause mild elevations of up to 100.4°F (38°C) in oral temperature. If you suspect one of these to be the cause of an elevated reading, eliminate the possible cause and retake the temperature in half an hour.
- Oral Use: Place the probe well under the patient’s tongue. Instruct the patient to keep their mouth closed while the professional thermometer is measuring. A normal oral temperature is usually considered to be between 96.8°F – 98.6°F (36.0°C – 37.5°C).
- Rectal Use: If the rectal temperature is recommended by your doctor, you may use a probe cover. Insert the professional thermometer tip into the probe cover. Lubricate the probe cover with a water-soluble jelly for easier insertion. Do not use petroleum jelly. Insert the tip of probe no more than ½ inch into the rectum. Stop if you meet any resistance.
The sensing device is on the very tip of the probe and there is no need to insert the probe deep into the rectum. Rectal temperature is usually approximately 1.0°F – 2.0°F (0.5°C – 1.0°C) higher than an oral temperature.
- Axillary Use (Armpit): Wipe the armpit with a dry towel. Place the probe in the patient’s armpit and keep the patient’s arm pressed firmly against their side. Axillary temperature is usually approximately 1.0°F – 2.0°F (0.5°C – 1.0°C) lower than an oral temperature. Note: In order to achieve better axillary temperature measurement results, a minimum measuring time of 3-5 minutes is recommended regardless of the beep sound.
Professional medical thermometer
Forehead professional thermometers allow users to measure body temperature quickly and noninvasively.
Professional thermometers consist of an infrared probe, electronic circuitry, a microprocessor, and an LCD or LED display. There are two types of infrared thermometry: ear and skin. Ear temperatures can be measured either at the TM or at the walls of the inner ear canal.
In tympanic thermometry, the temperature of the TM and its surrounding tissues is measured directly. IR skin thermometry is used to estimate the temperature of a site on the skin (e.g., axilla, forehead).
Some units may include rechargeable batteries, builtin timers for measuring pulses and respiration rates, designs for use with neonates, and user-replaceable probes. Calibrationchecking devices may also be available.
How to thermometers measure temperature
Principles of operation: Probes are made up of electronic thermal radiation transducers and waveguides. The radiation collected by the waveguide is converted to an electrical signal by the transducer and displayed as a temperature reading. The transducer is either pyroelectric or a thermopile sensor.
A pyroelectric sensor measures the average temperature of the tissue within its field of view. It must be used with a shutter mechanism to provide a controlled period of exposure to the tissue’s infrared emission. A thermopile sensor allows continuous readings and thereby facilitates scanning for the highest temperature.
Best medical thermometer for home use
Ultra-fast response and cost-effective design make the Adtemp™ 429 ideal for pediatric and institutional use.
Your new thermometer is designed to provide accurate body temperature measurements using a unique probe, which measures the heat flow from the blood vessels to the skin and converts it to body temperature in approximately 6-8 seconds.
As people plan to get back into a rut, many are considering buying technologies that can detect elevated temperatures.
This year is a favorable time for the thermometer manufacturing industry. With the sudden spurt in demand for medical thermometers, manufacturers are struggling to keep up with supply.
A home use infrared thermometer is a medical device intended for users in any environment outside of a professional healthcare facility.
Looking for the best non-contact medical thermometer to quickly check your temperature and that of your family?