Body temperature is a great indicator of something being amiss so it is important to know how to use a digital thermometer properly. Being aware of the necessary steps will help you to determine what type of illness that you are dealing with.
Step 1 – Prepare
Even if the digital thermometer has been stored prior to use, it is prudent to give it a clean before using it again. This can either be done in a solution of soapy water or by wiping it with a cloth that has been sprayed with an antibacterial solution. Wipe it with a paper tissue after it has been cleaned. This will ensure that any errant particles or germs remaining on the surface will be removed.
Step 2 – Switch On
Switch on the digital thermometer before putting it near the mouth to make sure that it is working properly. The LCD screen should read "0" when it is initially switched on. If this does not occur or the screen remains blank, you may find that the battery needs to be replaced. Check the instruction manual to ensure that you get the correct replacement battery and that you fit it correctly. Only use the thermometer when the starting reading is correct.
Step 3 – Position
Place the thermometer in the mouth by laying the tip on a middle point at the back of the tongue before closing the lips around it to hold the length of it. Avoid gripping it between the teeth as it is unnecessary and can cause the thermometer to lift off the tongue.
Step 4 – Take Temperature
Once the digital thermometer is in the correct position, you will be able to press the button to make the appliance read the temperature. Depending on the model, this can take anything from a few seconds to a few minutes. Similarly, the model you are using will dictate whether it demonstrates its completion of the task with a beep or whether the result is simply displayed. At this point, you will be able to remove the thermometer from the mouth so that you can read the temperature.
You may be able to set the temperature according to Celsius (C) or Fahrenheit (F). The body’s normal temperature is 37 degrees C or 98.6 degrees F so you must take immediate action if the reading is above or below this. Even 1 degree above normal temperature can be the sign of a fever, while anything lower means that the patient’s body is failing to regulate its temperature. They will need to be kept warm with other methods until the underlying cause is found and rectified.