How Does A Digital Thermometer Work? – A Detailed Explanation

Although a digital thermometer is a familiar item in most households to help take a temperature quickly, many people are still finding the exact answer to the question: How does a digital thermometer work? And how to check your temperature accurately?

If you are facing the same problem, scroll down to get the detail! We will include satisfactory answers in this article.

How Does A Digital Thermometer Work?

It can be said that using a digital thermometer to check your body’s temperature is the easiest way to see if you have a fever or not. 

Nowadays, many people choose to use a digital thermometer instead of a mercury one. That is because the former device provides a faster result, and its design is extremely compact.

Before gaining more in-depth information into our guide on how a digital thermometer works, let’s take a quick look at its construction.

Basically, a digital thermometer has three main parts: Sensing probe, an LCD display, and a power button.

Normally, the sensor utilized in digital thermometers will be resistance temperature detectors, solid-state sensors, thermistors, and thermocouples.

Although each type of sensor relies on different thermodynamics laws for operation, the thermometer has a general working mechanism. And here is the way a digital thermometer works:

Firstly, to turn on your thermometer, you need to press on the power button which normally lies next to the displayed screen.

An electrical voltage (normally from a battery)  then passes through electrodes in the sensor and makes a change in temperature.

As a result, the sensor will notice a change in the resistance. A microchip then converts this measurement into an extremely accurate reading of temperature and shows it numerically on the LCD display. 

And of course, the number you see on the screen will be your exact body’s temperature.

how does a digital thermometer works without mercury

How does a digital thermometer work?

How To Check Your Body’s Temperature Accurately With Digital Thermometer?

There are many ways in which you can check your body’s temperature quickly by using a digital thermometer. 

However, not every way will produce an accurate temperature result. Doctors advise that you should only measure the temperature in these following locations on your body:

Under the Tongue

This way is often applied to adults. Firstly, you need to wash your hands and the thermometer with freshwater or alcohol (if with alcohol, then remember to rinse your thermometer again to remove the alcohol before using).

More importantly, you shouldn’t drink or eat anything for at least 5 minutes before taking the temperature since it can cause an inaccurate reading result. 

After your hands and thermometer are cleaned, put the thermometer tip under the tongue, close your mouth and hold for about 45 seconds.

Normally, you will hear a beeping when the final reading is done. Then, take the thermometer out and see the temperature on the screen. Remember to clean the thermometer for later use.

how does a electronic thermometer work

Inside the Rectum (For Babies and Children Under 3 Years Old)

No matter where you measure the temperature, the first thing is to clean the thermometer. And then, you need to put a little lubricant on the tip first. 

After that, let your babies lie on their stomach and keep one hand on their back. Or you can also place them face-up and keep their legs bent toward the chest.

You should put a diaper under your child in case they poop after taking out the digital thermometer.

Slowly insert the thermometer’s tip into the rectum and hold for about 35 seconds. Then, take it out gently and read the temperature. When it is done, don’t forget to clean the thermometer thoroughly with soap.

	how does a digital infrared thermometer work

Under the Armpit

To take temperature under the armpit, you can take off your shirt or normally put the thermometer’s tip into your armpit. Make sure that your armpit is totally dry to have the most accurate temperature result.

You should keep the thermometer there until you hear a beep or after 35 seconds. Always remember to clean the thermometer with soap as the last step.

In these 3 ways, taking temperature inside the rectum is regarded to give the most accurate temperature result.

Normally, taking temperature under your tongue and armpit will result in a lower temperature from 0.5°F to 1°F ( or .3°C to .6°C)

Therefore, when taking axillary and oral temperature reading, you should add these numbers for a more accurate result.

Typically, a person is considered to get a fever when having a temperature of 100.5°F (38°C) or higher. If your body’s temperature is around 100.5°F, you can take an antipyretic at home to feel better.

However, if the temperature does not decrease or reaches 102°F (38.7°C), it is important to seek medical assistance. In any case, your health should come first.

In conclusion 

After having the answer to the question: “How does a digital thermometer work?”, you will know how to use this useful device accurately. 

Anytime you feel under the weather or tired, it is necessary to take your body’s temperature right away. It will let you know if you need to see a doctor or not.

And if you don’t have a digital thermometer in your house yet, go shopping and buy one now!

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