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Health Tips / Measuring Temperature

A range of thermometers are available to measure temperature.

Standard mercury thermometers are still used. However because of the toxicity of mercury and the risk of breaking fragile glass they are becoming less popular. The column of mercury must be shaken below the 35oC mark before placing the bulb end in the required area for two minutes. For older children the thermometer may be placed under the tongue, while for younger children it may be placed under the armpit. After use remember to store out of the reach of children as mercury poisoning is very dangerous.

Digital thermometers are battery operated and many now come with fever alarm and memory. The can be used to measure temperature by mouth, under the armpit or rectally.

 Electronic ear thermometers such as BRAUN THEROMSCAN. are very popular and accurate.   The ear is considered an appropriate site for temperature measurement as the eardrum shares blood supply with the temperature control centre in the brain. The main advantage is speed, the measurement may be completed in seconds. Disposable covers for the probe must be used on each occasion to protect from infection. 

The latest development in temperature reading is the infra red thermometer which can measure temperature without the need to place it in contact with the body. This is particularly useful to measure temperature in sleeping babies or children. 

Forehead thermometers are strips that change colour and indicate temperature. They are convenient to use, especially for a sleeping child, but are not as accurate as other methods.

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Last update: 16/05/2013 12:38 • Previous update: 30/11/-0001 00:00