Let’s face facts, in this day and age, every household should have a working thermometer to take a family member’s temperature. It was always really an essential piece of medical gear, in the family’s first aid kit. After all, when a baby is not feeling well, knowing if the little one is running a fever is a crucial piece of information to know if the pediatrician should be contacted, and medical care should be sought, and how quickly.
These days, with the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, many essential workers are being required to monitor their temperature to decide if it is safe for them to continue to work, or if they need to be quarantined, making it even more important to have a good one.
Thankfully, the world has moved on from mercury thermometers, which were made out of glass, broke easily with virtually any drop, were hard to clean between uses, and contained toxic mercury inside. Replacing this long standing icon of healthcare is the digital thermometer. Inside, rather than the toxic mercury, are solid state electronics, which provides an accurate reading of the body’s temperature. Still other thermometers use a chemical method to determine temperature.
Today’s thermometers can take temperatures in more places than ever. The options start with the traditional oral (‘under the tongue’), rectal and axillary approaches. In general, the axillary approach is considered the least accurate, rectal the best, and the oral approach somewhere in between the two. Note that rectal is usually for infants, and that if you plan to use the thermometer via this method, you should also purchase a separate one for oral use, and avoid using the same thermometer for both places.
Beyond these traditional methods for taking a temperature, additional options exist. These include tympanic via the ear, and also via the skin of the forehead. In fact, the latest thermometers can measure the temperature without ever coming into contact with the person, known as a contactless thermometer.
With a digital thermometer, be sure to pay attention to the display. Features to look for include a display with a larger readout, and also one that lights up, which can be ideal for taking a temperature at night in the dark.
Another deciding factor for a thermometer is how quickly the temperature can be obtained. Most are pretty fast these days, but it can still range from a few minutes to just a mere second. Digital ear thermometers (aka: tympanic thermometers) are known for their rapidness in measurement, a very useful feature with an uncooperative child unlikely to keep an oral thermometer under their tongue for the time required for an accurate reading.
Rather than dedicating each thermometer to a single family member, there are options today to have a single thermometer safely shared between multiple members of the household. The first option is to look for a thermometer that can accept a probe cover. These are a simple plastic sleeve that can protect the thermometer, and gets pulled off and tossed after each use. Another plus is that many are universal and can be used with thermometers of multiple manufacturers making this an affordable option. Yet, another option is to go the disposable route, and simply toss the thermometer after each use for the ultimate in convenience.
Today, infrared thermometers are being innovated too meet the various requirements of different applications. These devices have several built-in features that cater to specific sectors. For instance, there are thermometers that can keep a record of several past readings and also device that have digital display with lighting, allowing visibility in dark.
At this moment specially since we are living a pandemic, we would recommend a good infrared thermometer, LiveTemp Pro has been recommend by several reads and is a great option.