Digital health thermometers have quickly taken over from old-fashioned glass thermometers, which contain harmful mercury and can easily be broken during storage or even during use. Today’s infrared digital thermometers are quick, safe, accurate and easy to use. They’re the gold standard for measuring body temperature. But they’re not all alike. Keep reading to learn about some things you should consider when buying a digital health thermometer.
Getting To Know Infrared Thermometers
Infrared health thermometers are the most common choice today and work by measuring the amount of heat emitted from the body. Positioning is key to an accurate reading. The results are available in seconds, quicker than any other thermometer type. Old glass thermometers took a minute or more to provide an accurate reading.
Ear thermometers – also called tympanic thermometers – provide an accurate measurement of temperature inside the ear canal. These work best when the tip isn’t too cool to begin with, so some experts suggest gently warming the tip before use. But it can be difficult to hold an ear thermometer in place for even the seconds or two required if the patient is a squirming child or a person with certain disabilities.
Forehead thermometers are easiest to use on a wide range of patients. This type of digital health thermometer gives an accurate reading by simply swiping the unit across the forehead. A forehead thermometer should easily glide across the forehead without resistance or pain. Many models available today can be used on either the ear or forehead.
There are also non-contact infrared thermometers that work by holding the instrument an inch or more from the patient’s forehead and moving as directed. These are a great choice for patients in pain, those who are ultra-sensitive to touch or when it’s necessary to take a reading without disturbing the patient.
Features To Look For In A Digital Health Thermometer
As technology has improved and digital health thermometers have increased in usage and popularity, makers have attempted to differentiate their products with additional features – some more useful than others. Here are some features to look for in the best infrared thermometer for your home:
Response time. It shouldn’t take more than a few seconds to get results. While digital stick thermometers can take up to 80 seconds, the DualScan ULTRA PULSE Talking Ear and Forehead Digital Thermometer from MOBI, for example, provides results in one second.
Lighted display. Of all the features available, a display that either shows the numbers in bright LEDs or has a backlight is essential. When people are sick, they may be sensitive to light and always need their rest. It simply doesn’t make sense to turn on a light just to check a patient’s temperature.
Safety. Digital health thermometer accessories can pose a choking hazard for young children. Not all models have small parts or accessories, but as with all appliances and devices, you need to be aware of any small pieces and keep them away from little ones.
There are a number of other features that you may find useful in a digital health thermometer, including these:
• A light or beep indicating that the patient has a fever
• Memory to record previous temperatures and indicate a trend
• Auto-shutoff to save the device’s battery
• A flashlight, heart rate monitor or other features that save having to use a separate device
• And more.
Digital health thermometer products are better than ever before, so it may make sense to update from an older model to a newer one that offers more features and provides more accurate readings. And if you’re still using a fragile glass and mercury thermometer, it’s time to dispose of it and move up to the modern digital choice, an infrared thermometer you can trust.