How to choose the right thermometer?
Not only do thermometers come in different sizes, there are lots of different types. When we say the word thermometer, usually the image is conjured up of the traditional personal thermometer, that looks like a small probe, to be inserted under the arm, under the tongue or rectally. There are also household thermometers, which can indicate the temperature of the air inside or outside the house, floating thermometers to measure bathwater temperature, fish tank thermometers that keep tropical fish at their optimum temperature, food thermometers that show when meat has been cooked to the correct temperature and many more.
Most thermometers are purchased for the monitoring of body temperature. Before digital thermometers were available, there were analogue options. With these, you need to wait until the temperature-indicating line on the side of the thermometer stops moving, which would then give the final reading. There are also analogue strips that can be affixed to the forehead that indicate body temperature, however these too take more time to reach a reading.
Digital thermometers are more common these days, with the regular probe shaped digital thermometers usually being the most economical. Using them is simply a matter of pressing the button on the bottom to turn the thermometer on, inserting it in or under your preferred body part for an accurate temperature reading, and waiting until it beeps, indicating the temperature reading is complete.
The digital ear thermometers we usually associate with trips to the doctors are also freely available for purchase, and are somewhat less invasive than the traditional models. Digital forehead thermometers are even more comfortable, requiring no ingress into your personal space. Many digital thermometers afford the choice to measure temperature via ears or forehead, allowing for the consumer’s personal preference. Some have larger LCD screens which are back lit, allowing for clear visibility of temperature readings even in low light. Memory capabilities are also available, saving data from previous temperature readings and removing the need to write down temperature changes when monitoring one person in particular.
Contactless thermometers, using infrared technology, can measure temperature from a small distance and are also very accurate. These may be more useful for young children or infants, who can sometimes struggle to keep still for the duration of a temperature reading. There are also pacifiers that contain a thermometer, allowing for a constant temperature reading of your baby or infant.