Spot a Fever Fast! How to Use a Digital Thermometer

Spot a Fever Fast! How to Use a Digital Thermometer

Having a digital thermometer makes life so much easier! When your children are young, they can often be quite restless when unwell. And this can make the process of taking their temperature rather difficult. A digital thermometer is helpful, as you don’t have to wait anxiously to take your child’s temperature when they have a fever.

What is a digital thermometer?

A digital thermometer is a modern, fast and convenient way of reading the temperature. It also eliminates the fear of mercury poisoning. They come in many different models with different speeds of reading.


Watch the video on the Omron Forehead Thermometer

What are the different types of digital thermometers?

There are 4 basic types of digital thermometers. They are all defined based on which part of the body you use them on. These are as follows:

  1. Oral
  2. Rectal
  3. Underarm
  4. Ears

What are the advantages of using a digital thermometer?

  • They are fast and easy to use
  • Provide an accurate reading of .1 degree increments
  • They are water resistant
  • They are easy to clean
  • Provides history of the last reading
  • They beep when the measurement is complete

How do I use a digital thermometer?

Step 1 – It is best to read the instructions that come with your unit. This will help you understand the specific model of thermometer you have. It is important to understand the beep informing you a reading is taken in order to give you an accurate reading.

Step 2 – Turn your thermometer on and wait for it to start reading zero.  For hygiene purposes, it is advisable to put a disposable plastic sleeve on. This will prevent cross-infection especially amongst siblings and other members of the family who may be using it at the same time.

Step 3 – Depending on the type of thermometer you are using, you can take the temperature reading in the following manner:

Axillary temperature can be taken by putting the thermometer under the arm. Place the tip of the unit into the hollow of the armpit. Hold the arm across the body and wait for the thermometer to beep before removing it from your underarm.

Oral temperature can be taken by placing the tip of the thermometer under the tongue and hold it there until you hear the unit beep. Then take it out and read the temperature.

When taking the temperature using a rectal thermometer, it is best to put lubricant on the tip of the unit. This will make it easier to insert and pull out the unit with less pain and discomfort. Insert the tip of the unit inside the rectum. Wait until you hear the beep then remove it gently. When taking an infant’s temperature, it is advised to hold their legs still while waiting for the beep to ensure an accurate reading.

If using a tympanic thermometer, you must gently insert the tip inside the ear of the patient. Gently pull the earlobe back and up to ensure that the tip can be inserted properly. Be careful not to push the tip too far inside the ear canal as this may cause some damage. Then press the button to get the reading.

Step 4 – Clean your thermometer after each use. Even if you used a sleeve protector, it is best to sanitize your unit after each use to prevent the spread of germs. Remove the sleeve and discard after use. It is best to use a new one each time you use your thermometer.

Know your options so you can decide what type of digital thermometer best suits your need.



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