Everyone should have a medical thermometer in their home. There are several kinds to choose from and it depends on your own personal needs which one will be best for you.
A liquid-filled thermometer used to be the only type of medical thermometer you could buy. They were usually filled with mercury and once the correct temperature was reached, it would read until it was reset. Mercury thermometers were considered too dangerous to use so today, most people have digital body thermometers.
Types of Medical ThermometersOral thermometers have been the most popular because they’ve been around for so long. The thermometer is placed under the tongue and the temperature is read after a few minutes. Most children can’t hold their mouth closed for long so this is primarily used in adults. You also have to wait awhile to take an oral temperature if you’ve had hot or cold liquids recently because this will change the temperature reading.
Until recently, rectal thermometers were the main choice for taking the temperature of infants and young children. It has been considered to be the most accurate of all the methods, but also uncomfortable or embarrassing for older people. Now, most parents and pediatricians use the forehead or temple thermometer which is less stressful for a small child.
Ear thermometers are also popular for use with children and even many adults. It is placed in the ear and a button is pushed; the temperature is read in about one second.
Basal thermometers varies from other kinds of medical thermometers because it is used to take the base temperature, which is the body’s temperature at waking. Because of this, it’s not affected as much by other circumstances, such as exercise or food. It can record the smallest changes in body temperature and is used to check for thyroid function or ovulation.
Choosing the best medical thermometers for your family will depend on the ages and preferences of the people having their temperature checked. Most thermometers are accurate to within a degree so that will not be a concern. Having a working medical thermometer in the home is important to monitor a person who is sick.