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How Does A Digital Thermometer Work?

How Does A Digital Thermometer Work?

Whether you think your child has a fever or you’re wondering if your baby’s food is at the right temperature, a digital thermometer is the right device for the answers you need. But how does a digital thermometer work?

It may be simpler than you think.

While every company has its proprietary secrets, most digital thermometers work on the same principles – and all use similar technology. The difference is in the way the devices are designed and constructed and the quality of the components used.

How Digital Thermometers Work

Digital thermometers contain a small computing mechanism and a resistor. A change in temperature causes the sensor to notice a change in resistance. The computer converts the difference in resistance into a difference in temperature and offers a digital readout in degrees. The thermoresistor sensor is called a thermistor.

High-quality digital thermometers like the MOBI Flex Temp Flexible Tip Thermometer are available for a relatively low cost because good thermistors are available at a low cost. When a quality sensor is combined with other quality parts and a well-designed housing, the result is a useful and accurate instrument that can serve the whole family for years.

Thermistors are used in a variety of electronic devices where changes in temperature must be taken into account. They can take the place of circuit breakers or fuses to shut down temperature-sensitive electronics to prevent overheating damage. They can also be used in heating and air conditioning thermostats. In that case, they replace bimetallic strips or mercury sensors, which are more likely to fail.

Other Kinds Of Thermometers

Digital thermometers and the thermistors on which they’re based are safer, faster and easier to read than old-fashioned mercury thermometers. Mercury inside a glass tube is perhaps the simplest kind of thermometer. As the mercury gets hotter, it expands by an amount that relates directly to the temperature increase.

While not often used in medical thermometers, there are also dial thermometers that work by showing how much a metal coil expands with heat. The higher the temperature, the more the internal bimetallic strips expand and the higher the hands on the dial read.

Electronic thermometers and the thermistors inside them have an important advantage over mercury and mechanical thermometers. Thermistors react to temperature changes almost immediately. Mercury and metallic strips take some time to react, meaning that getting an accurate reading takes from a minute to several minutes.

Plus, the computer inside an electronic thermometer can display results in Fahrenheit, Celsius or any other units for which it’s programmed. The only downside is that the results can vary from moment to moment while mechanical and mercury thermometers are slow to move and therefore don’t have time to respond to minor fluctuations.

Quicker Results Mean Quicker Response

Today’s digital thermometers are the result of years of evolution in measuring temperatures. It’s now possible to quickly and accurately assess whether your child – or yourself – has a fever and needs medical attention. And you can check bathwater or a baby’s bottle for the correct temperature in just a second or two.

When you understand how digital thermometers work, you can understand just how useful having an accurate, well-made one in your home is. When you need answers about fever and whether it’s getting better or getting worse, there’s no time to waste.

The 5 Most Common Ways To Take Your Child’s Temperature

The 5 Most Common Ways To Take Your Child’s Temperature

The right kids thermometer is the one that your child will let you use on them. Having their temperature taken is something that many children consider a real annoyance. But when cold and flu symptoms or other illnesses seem to be taking hold, monitoring temperature closely can help you decide when to give medicine and when to take your child to the hospital.

Not that long ago, there was no such thing as a kid-friendly thermometer. An oral or rectal mercury tube thermometer was all that was available to check for a fever in any member of the family. Now, you have device and method choices.

Here are 5 ways you can successfully take your child’s temperature along with some advice on how well each method works:

1. Rectally. To take a child’s temperature rectally, you must lubricate the thermometer with petroleum jelly, place the child on their back and insert the device about a half-inch into the rectum without forcing if you encounter resistance. This is the recommended method for babies under 3 months. No matter how good your kids thermometer is, however, no child will like having their temperature taken rectally once they’re old enough to express discomfort or embarrassment. Rectal thermometers, however, are known for accuracy.

2. Orally. Many people grew up with oral mercury thermometers that are placed under your tongue for about a minute. Today’s digital oral thermometers can give readings in seconds. But it can be difficult to get a child to keep their mouth closed tightly around the thermometer for even a second or two. Plus, eating or drinking within 15 minutes of taking a temperature reading orally can cause a false reading. Still, orally taking a child’s temperature is easier than doing it rectally and gives accurate results if taken correctly.

3. Under the armpit. Taking the axillary temperature of your child is easy with the right kids thermometer. You must make sure that the device touches only skin and not clothes, however. The device must be held tightly in the right location for the required time, and the child must stay still so that the thermometer can remain in the right place for an accurate reading.

4. In ear. To get a reading with an infrared ear thermometer, you simply insert your chosen kids thermometer into the ear canal and wait the required time. With the MOBI Prime Ear and Forehead Thermometer, an accurate reading is available in one second. Just remember to hold the device tightly in place. You get very quick results, and the results are accurate as long as you put the thermometer in the right place. Some children find this method slightly uncomfortable, however. Expect readings to vary slightly each time you take the temperature and to vary from one ear to the other.

5. On the forehead. Getting a temporal artery reading from the forehead is a completely noninvasive way to take a child’s temperature with a simple swipe. You must make sure you use the device in the right spot for the most accurate reading. And you must expect some variation from one reading to the next. But there is no quicker, less invasive or easier way to take a child’s temperature.

Perhaps the most useful device to have is a kids thermometer that allows you to take a body temperature reading in more than one way. An ear and forehead thermometer, for example, can give you accurate readings in a second using either method, and some models can even store previous readings for comparison.

When your child’s health is in question, you need a kids thermometer that they will accept and that provides accurate results. It makes sense to buy one, test it out when your child is healthy and have it on hand so it will be ready to use when you need it.

Help Dispel These Myths About Fever And Your Child’s Health!

Help Dispel These Myths About Fever And Your Child’s Health!

It may be hard to believe, but some of the things you learned about fever and children’s health simply aren’t true. Some never were. Others have given way to improved thinking on running a temperature and its relationship to the health of a child.

The best way to know your child’s temperature so you can make an informed decision about whether they’re sick or not is to check it quickly and accurately with an ear and forehead thermometer. These are better than old-fashioned mercury thermometers that take too long to give readings and can break in a child’s mouth.

Here are some myths about fever and your child’s health that need to be dispelled:

Myth: Anytime a child feels warm, it’s a fever that needs to be treated.

Fact: Children can feel warm because of crying, hot weather, being in a warm bed or exerting themselves. In these cases, the skin temperature should return to the way it normally feels within 10 to 20 minutes. You must take your child’s temperature orally, rectally, under the arm, in the ear or on the forehead with a digital thermometer to know for sure if they have fever.

Myth: Fever is always a bad thing.

Fact: Fever is part of a normal immune system working to fight off infection or other issues. When a fever is just slightly above 98.6 degrees F, it can be doing its job to make a child well. Still, you must closely monitor low fevers to make sure they don’t spike to a higher level. Your doctor may want you to bring the child in so the underlying cause of the fever can be determined and monitored.

Myth: Fever can cause brain damage.

Fact: Most fevers caused by infections can’t cause brain damage. But this myth is based on an important fact: When body temperature reaches 108 degrees F, it can cause damage to the brain and other body systems. But such high fevers are incredibly rare and are most often the result of a child being in a place that’s much too warm – like a closed-up car. Monitoring every fever with an easy-to-use ear and forehead thermometer takes only a second and can give you the peace of mind of knowing for sure that everything’s okay.

Myth: A high fever can cause a seizure.

Fact: This myth is also based in fact, but only a tiny fraction of children ever have a fever-related seizure, and these usually end quickly and don’t do any permanent damage. Obviously, you want to avoid fever situations that could lead to seizures, but a fever seizure may not be a reason to panic either. The best course of action, however, is to contact a medical professional and get your child evaluated for the underlying cause of fever long before the condition gets to this point.

Myth: Every fever needs to be treated with a fever-reducing medication.

Fact: Your doctor may tell you to treat every fever just to be on the safe side, but fevers may only require treatment if they cause pain or discomfort – and that doesn’t usually happen until your child’s temperature reaches 102 or 103 degrees F. At that level, the fever must be treated.

Myth: Once a fever breaks, there’s no longer any cause for concern.

Fact: Fever-reducing medicines and other factors can cause a child’s temperature return to normal. But it may go up again. Any child who has fever needs to be monitored to make sure it doesn’t return. If it does, additional treatment is required. Monitoring with an ear and forehead thermometer for a few days after an illness appears to be over is a wise precaution.

Doctors often use ear and forehead thermometers today because of their accuracy and their ability to provide quick readings. Children are often intolerant of old-style thermometers that take several seconds or up to a minute to give an accurate reading. Plus, ear and forehead thermometers are inexpensive to obtain for both doctors and parents.

 

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