How to Use a Digital Ear Thermometer

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Use a Digital Ear Thermometer
Use a Digital Ear Thermometer

How to Use a Digital Ear Thermometer. Digital thermometers, especially ones designed for the ear, are gaining in popularity. They are especially great for kids, and are available at pharmacies.

Things You'll Need

  • Digital Thermometers
  • Isopropyl Alcohols
  • Washcloths
  • Antibacterial Soaps

Consider that most digital thermometers take a temperature in less than 30 seconds, quickening the temperature-taking process for squirmy children.

Read the thermometer's instructions carefully. Never throw the instructions away. Keep them near your digital thermometer.

Wipe the thermometer probe with a soapy washcloth or a tissue dabbed in isopropyl alcohol or put on a clean probe, depending on your brand of thermometer.

Turn the thermometer on.

Use a gentle rocking motion as you insert the thermometer into the ear canal or rectum. Never push or cram the probe into the body. Forcing it causes pain, especially if there is swelling in the ear canal or rectum.

Listen for the beep.

Remove the thermometer.

Read the thermometer. If you see "ERR," you did not get good contact with the ear canal or rectum, and will need to take the temperature again.

Use the chart insert that comes with your thermometer to see what your normal reading should be.

Clean your thermometer probe with a soapy washcloth and/or isopropyl alcohol before storing.

Tips & Warnings

  • Oral digital thermometers are also available but are not nearly as popular as ear thermometers. Remember to push the oral thermometer probe well back and under the tongue, and keep your lips closed until you hear the beep.
  • According to the CVS pharmacist, digital ear thermometers can be used rectally and under the arm. The key is having good contact between the thermometer and either the rectum or armpit.
  • Digital thermometers found at pharmacies cannot be recalibrated. So if you begin getting weird readings, you will not be able to readjust your thermometer.

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