There are so many different types of thermometers out there, from contactless digital infrared forehead thermometers to digital pencil thermometers, ear thermometers, etc. What are the advantages of different types?
- Contactless Infrared Thermometers (measures forehead)
- Ear Thermometer (measure internal ear)
- Pencil Thermometers (measures orally, under the armpit, or in the anus)
Should you get a contactless infrared thermometer so that you can measure many people’s temperature cautiously with social distancing or should you have everyone in the family or office have their own personal pencil thermometers for individual monitoring of temperatures? You can view different types of forehead, pencil, ear thermometers here.
What temperature is a fever considered?
For adults, a temperature of above 38°C (100.4°F) is considered a fever. The normal human temperature is around 36°C to 37°C. (96.8°F to 98.6°F).
You can be considered having a low-grade fever if it is 37°C to 38°C
For a child, 37.5°C is considered a fever, and you should definitely seek medical attention if the child’s temperature is 38°C and above.
What is a non-contact or contactless infrared thermometer?
Non-contact or contactless thermometers are also known as infrared (IR) thermometers. Infrared thermometer works by measuring the amplitude of IR energy emitting from the human head, hence they are also commonly known as forehead thermometers
Here is an example of such an infrared thermometer that takes the temperature of the human head without contact.
How does a non contact infrared thermometer work?
Such an infrared thermometer measures the infrared radiation coming out of the human head (or other body matter). From the amount of infrared energy, it can determine the object’s temperature accurately.
Infrared thermometers used to be expensive and not too accurate, however, it is now fairly accurate and cheap enough for household purchases.
Are non-contact infrared forehead thermometers accurate?
Yes, non-contact infrared thermometers are considered 97% accurate by scientific studies. They are considered to be reliable, comfortable and accurate for the human body in determining human fevers.
What is the best non contact thermometer? What medical thermometers do hospitals use?
Some of the more reliable and trustworthy best brands in Asia and Singapore are Omron, Braun, Temuro, Beurer etc. These brands of medical thermometers are widely seen in doctors’ clinics and hospitals.
They are commonly purchased by households, schools and corporate offices too for personal monitoring of temperatures.
Recently, there are popular brands such as Rycom, Xiaomi, iProven, Medisana, or even OEM brands like Watson or Guardian thermometers. However, temperature sensors are extremely sensitive to workmanship, we prefer solid brands like Braun, Beurer, Omron thermometers instead.
Can thermometers be wrong?
Unfortunately, yes. This is why we encourage you to buy trusted brands like Omron, Braun or Temuro etc. Thermometers can give wrong readings if they are calibrated wrongly at the factory or the sensors are getting old and faulty. If they are inaccurate, they can be recalibrated or reset. Omron does provide 3 years warranty locally in Singapore for all Omron thermometers.
How do I reset my digital thermometer? Do Infrared thermometers need to be calibrated?
Generally, all reliable branded thermometers come fully calibrated and reset in factory mode. You can start using them immediately. Each type has its own instruction leaflet and provides the step by steps to reset your digital thermometer.
How do I check my temperature with an infrared thermometer?
Using an infrared thermometer meant for the human body is easy.
- Sweep away any hair covering the forehead.
- Aim the sensor of the thermometer to the human forehead
- Press the button or trigger and wait for a few seconds for the temperature to be displayed.
Many infrared thermometer are shaped like a thermometer gun, so you just aim it towards the head and press the button or trigger.
Is an infrared thermometer safe?
Yes, it is safe as the sensor is taking a measurement of IR energy emitting from your body. The thermometer does not emit anything outwards and has no impact on humans.
What are digital pencil thermometers?
These are named pencil thermometers as they are of similar size and shape of a pencil. They are designed such that you can take the temperature in 3 ways.
- renal (via anus)
- orally (via the mouth) OR
- under the armpit
The renal way is the most accurate as it measures your internal temperature. However, it is most inconvenient and uncomfortable, so the other ways of via armpit and via the mouth are more popular. Armpit is the most convenient way and also the least accurate way. If you intend to take renal temperature occasionally, please do have separated pencil thermometers and label them accordingly.
How do take temperature orally?
- Do not consume water or food for 15 minutes before taking temperature orally
- Slide the pencil thermometer under the tongue.
- If it is a digital thermometer, press once to start the temperature taking
- Wait for 20 – 60 seconds for the temperature to be registered. Even after a beep sound, you may want to hold for another 20 – 60 seconds for a more accurate measurement.
Digital pencil thermometers are cheap and highly accurate so it is popular for each person in school, business or household to have their own individual pencil thermometers so that there is no risk of spreading virus from one person to another via sharing of thermometers.
Can I measure my temperature with a liquid mercury thermometer?
No, as mercury is extremely poisonous, we strongly encourage everyone not to ever use a liquid mercury thermometer.
Where to buy thermometers?
In Singapore currently, thermometers are still available, though it may be out of stock at various branches of Watson or Guardian or Owell. You can still buy thermometers online with shipping in 1-2 days.
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