Our Best Digital Medical Thermometers
Digital Medical Thermometers
Nothing is worse than when you wake up in the morning and you are simply feeling crummy. It can be hard to know if you are suffering from a common cold or are coming down with a more serious case of the flu or other ailment. Often times, the only way to tell the difference between something common and something more serious is whether or not you are running a fever. The best tool you have at home is a digital medical thermometer, and this article will outline everything you need to know about this particular type of thermometer.
What Is A Digital Medical Thermometer?
A digital medical thermometer is exactly what it sounds like- a personal use thermometer that will help you to determine if medical treatment may be necessary as a result of a bacterial infection. This thermometer can be used rectally, orally, or under the armpit for the most common types, though there are types that work by measuring temperature in the ear as well.
How Do Digital Medical Thermometers Work?
Digital medical thermometers work through a small metal tip at the end of the probe, which contains what is called a thermistor. This absorbs the heat from the surrounding, in this case the armpit, mouth, or rectum, and provides a reading based on that.
Types of Medical Thermometers
There are two types of medical thermometers. While this article is focusing on the digital medical thermometers, standard thermometers are still on the market today.
Digital medical thermometers provide a readout digitally, are often a little bit quicker, and can be more accurate than standard thermometers.
Standard thermometers were the popular option on the market prior to the advent of digital medical thermometers. Initially filled with mercury until the dangers of this substance was made known, these thermometers are filled with a liquid that reacts to the heat around it.
Benefits of Digital Medical Thermometers
There are a couple of different reasons that digital medical thermometers are a better option as opposed to the older standard thermometers.
The digital medical thermometers tend to be much easier to read than a standard thermometer. As anyone who has used a standard thermometer knows, it could be somewhat difficult to see where the liquid was resting, and the accuracy of this type of thermometer could be somewhat iffy as it was hardly more accurate than one degree. Digital thermometers, on the other hand, are very easy to read, and can be accurate to one-tenth of a degree.
Digital medical thermometers are also much quicker than the standard thermometers of the past. Standard thermometers can take up to 1 minute to give a true reading, whereas many digital thermometers today can give an accurate reading in ten seconds or less. That difference in reading time can be huge when you or your child is feeling really under the weather.
Accuracy of Digital Medical Thermometers
The accuracy of a digital medical thermometer will vary greatly on a couple of different factors. Brand and price of the thermometer do play a role in how accurate a thermometer is going to be.
Additionally, where you are taking the temperature reading will make a difference as well. Under the armpit is the least accurate place. Oral temperature readings are fairly accurate, but it is important to sit still and keep your mouth closed during the attempted reading. It is also important to wait at least 15 minutes after eating or drinking to take the temperature reading, and at least 30 minutes after going outside in extreme temperatures or taking a hot shower or ice bath.
A rectal temperature reading is most accurate, though this method of reading can be uncomfortable for everyone involved.
Features To Look For in the Best Digital Medical Thermometers
1. Fever Alerts
Fever alerts are particularly handy when you are dealing with a sick child or when you are feeling crummy yourself. Find a thermometer that will alert you to when you are running a fever, and many of these fever alerts will also let you know if the fever is mild, moderate, or severe, alerting you when you should seek medical attention.
2. Memory Features
One of the most convenient features about digital thermometers is the ability to automatically record past temperature readings, with some brands recording up to the past ten readings. This is particularly helpful when dealing with a sick child and you need to be able to quickly look back at previous readings to monitor any fluctuations in the fever.
3. Backlit Display
Having a backlit display on your thermometer will be particularly beneficial when you or your child is sick in the middle of the night, and turning on the light would be too disruptive.
4. Able To Use Orally, in Armpit, and Rectally
It is important to have a thermometer that you can use both in the both and under the arm, and for babies who are unable to safely use a thermometer orally, rectally. A rectal reading will be most accurate, though this procedure may be slightly uncomfortable. If you foresee potentially using a thermometer rectally, make sure it is not a soft or curved tip, as they may not be suitable for rectal use. Of course, once you have used a thermometer for a rectal temperature reading, it is no longer suitable for oral use.
Having a digital medical thermometer in your medicine cabinet will make your life much less stressful when your child is up crying in the middle of the night and coming down with the flu or when you are just feeling less than your best. While there are many different brands and styles of digital medical thermometers available- don’t worry! We have compiled a list of some of the best digital medical thermometers available on the market today.