“Thermo-” means “hot” and “meter” means something that is used to measure. In short, a thermometer is a device (not necessarily medical) for measuring temperature (how hot or cold something is) or the temperature gradient using different principles.
How does a thermometer work?
A thermometer has a temperature sensor that can detect the change in temperature and convert the change into a readable value. Older types of thermometers, such as mercury thermometers, detect the change in temperature with a “light bulb” and show the change with a mercury scale. Newer types of thermometers, such as digital thermometers, detect and display digitally, and some allow entry into computers for monitoring and analysis.
What is the temperature range that a thermometer can measure?
Well, traditional ones can generally measure between zero degrees Celsius and 110 degrees Celsius. Newer models like those digital models can be much lower or higher than that. Custom designed models can go up to hundreds or even thousands of degrees.
What are the different types of thermometers?
The oral type allows users to place the thermometer in the mouth and under the tongue to measure the temperature. A type of rectum, on the other hand, allows users to insert it into their rectum to allow them to get a more accurate reading. Rectal thermometers are generally used to measure the temperature of newborn babies.
Ear thermometers measure human temperature by allowing the person to insert the sensor into a human ear and read the infrared radiation emanating from the tissues of the person’s eardrum. Women often use basal thermometers to measure slight changes in temperature to detect whether ovulation has occurred and whether the temperature has returned to normal.
What type of thermometer is most suitable for babies?
It really depends on the age of your baby. If you are less than 3 months old, a baby rectal thermometer will be recommended. A baby at this age will be more fragile and it is crucial that you measure his temperature accurately as he is very small.
If you are over 5-6 months of age, it will be recommended that you get a baby ear thermometer as the ear canal has grown large enough to insert your thermometer to measure and get an accurate reading. Once your child is old enough (4 years or older), you can opt for an oral one.
Choosing the right thermometer for your babies is important as babies are small and prone to fever. Inaccurate temperature measurement is definitely undesirable.