Where do I take my temperature?

Don't know where to take your temperature? Easy! You can do it in 5 areas of your body: armpit, mouth, rectum, ear or forehead. Different types of thermometer are used for different sites. Here are some rules to follow before taking the measurement.

Want to take your temperature under your armpit? This is reliable if the thermometer is in the right position

The most traditional way of taking your temperature is to place the thermometer in your armpit, in which case you can use a glass or digital thermometer. This is safe, non-invasive and stress free, but bear in mind that the correct position is vital: place the thermometer under your armpit, parallel with your chest and perpendicular to the armpit.

Did you now the temperature is different in your left and right armpits?

When you take an underarm temperature measurement, keep in mind that the result may be influenced by the environmental temperature, sweat, humidity and other parameters. Remember that there may be a difference of over 1.4 degrees between the left and right armpits, so you should always take the measurement in the same place.

To avoid errors, dry your armpit and hold the thermometer in a high position

Have you decided to take the measurement with an underarm thermometer? To avoid errors, first dry your armpit and then hold the thermometer bulb as high as possible. Your arm should remain close to your body for the time specified in the instructions.

Be careful about taking your temperature orally after food or drink

This is one of the areas that's easiest to access. If you've decided to take your temperature orally, you can use a digital or glass thermometer. Before you start, don't forget that the temperature shown by the thermometer may be affected if you've recently eaten a hot or cold meal. Want to get it right? Wait at least 15 minutes after eating or drinking.

Taking your temperature: the gold standard

Perhaps the most uncomfortable method, because you have to be relaxed, is rectal temperature. This is still widely regarded as the gold standard. You can choose a glass or digital thermometer: this is obviously an invasive procedure.

Learn to take your temperature aurally

If you want to measure the temperature in your ear, you can buy an infrared auricular thermometer, the only one that allows you to measure temperature in this way. It's the quickest method, but you have to know how to use it. Remember to read the instructions carefully. It's important to position the thermometer in exactly the right part of your ear, and ensure that no wax or infection are present.

Forehead temperature: you have 3 options!

To take your temperature from your forehead, you can use a contact or contactless infrared or liquid crystal thermometer. Place the thermometer on your forehead, or nearby if using a contactless one. A liquid crystal thermometer is easy to use but less precise, while an infrared one offers the same reliability as the digital variety.

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