Child Care & First Aid : How to Use a Digital Thermometer

You’re interested in knowing how to use a
digital thermometer. My name is Beverly Bitterman, ARNP, health and wellness consultant. If you’ve
visited a drugstore lately and looked at thermometers, you’ll understand that there’s a variety of
types of digital thermometers on the market. The most common type of thermometer is still
the one that goes under the tongue and it can also be used rectally. Of course, you
would want to clean it well in between. But what I’m going to do is talk to you just a
little bit about how to use a digital thermometer. Now, they all come with packaging and directions,
so I recommend that you read those directions. What you’ll do then, most likely, in this
one I have here, is there’s a little button. And so I’m going to push that, and it lights
up, and then it gives me a…kind of a clear green screen, and it says low. So I’ll put
it under my tongue now, and we’ll see what happens.
And then we get a beep, and I’m able to read thermometer. It says 97.1, so that would be
a normal temperature. Humans, we think of having a temperature of 98.6, but really,
there’s a range of normal. It can vary by time of day, et cetera. Under the tongue,
you’re looking for 98.6, about. Under the arm, about a point lower — about 97.6. And
rectally, it’s about 99.6. Above those indications, then you start to get into having a mild fever.
And if you’re much above, then you’re into more severe fever. What you want to do is
think…is then wash the thermometer after you’ve taken it into some warm soapy water,
and put it away in a cover so that it doesn’t get damaged. And basically, that’s how to
take a temperature using a digital thermometer. My name is Beverly Bitterman, ARNP, health
and wellness consultant, and I wish you good luck in picking the right thermometer for
you and your family.


  1. I’ve paired my Vick’s thermometer many times, but my iPad was recently replaced and it won’t pair. My Samsung cellphone has a lot of digital thermometer apps but Vick’s isn’t one of them. I’m not happy right now.

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