Mastering Temperature Checks: How to Check a Temperature Like a Pro

Have you ever had that moment where you need to check someone's temperature and didn't know how? It can be stressful, especially now with the ongoing pandemic. But fear not, my friend! In this article, we'll be exploring how to master temperature checks like a pro.

Mastering Temperature Checks: How to Check a Temperature Like a Pro

Let's break it down

First of all, let's discuss what exactly is involved in taking someone's temperature. Essentially, all you need is a thermometer and the knowledge of where to place it on their body - easy peasy right?

Well...not quite.

There are actually two different types of thermometers: oral and non-oral (i.e., forehead or ear). And each method has its own set of tips and tricks for getting an accurate reading!

Oral Thermometers

Oral thermometers are perhaps the most common type we're all familiar with - simply place the probe under the tongue for 2-3 minutes and voila! You have your reading. Here are some do's and don'ts when using an oral thermometer:


  • Wait at least 30 minutes after eating or drinking before taking a reading.
  • Place the probe under as far back as possible without causing discomfort.
  • Keep your mouth closed during measurement for accuracy.


  • Use immediately after exercising or smoking - this can raise your overall body temp.
  • Hold thermometer with teeth/lips/cheeks (this may lead to incorrect readings).

Non-Oral Thermometers

Non-oral thermometers come in many forms (e.g., infrared, digital), but they're mostly used on either your forehead or eardrum. Here are some things to keep in mind for each:

Forehead Thermometer

  • Some models require direct contact while others can sense temperatures from farther away; always read manufacturer directions first!
  • When holding the thermometer to your head, ensure that there's no obstruction between it and your skin; hairline, hats or other accessories can affect readings!
  • Keep the unit stationary for up to 5 seconds temperature measurements.

Ear Thermometer

  • Before inserting into ear canal, make sure you have an appropriately-sized tip (these come with a lot of modern thermometers!).
  • Pull back on the outer ear to straighten the canal before inserting.
  • Only insert thermometer 1cm max into your ear – device must be positioned correctly in order take accurate measurements.

When is temperature checking most useful?

There are many times where taking someone’s temperature may be valuable information:

  • Checking yourself or others when feeling sick/ill.
  • During IVF treatments processs
  • If you are caring for young children or elderly individuals who cannot express what they feel at this moment,

    Pro Tip: Write down repeated temperatures taken throughout illness - this can assist medical professionals if needed!

How often should I check someone's temperature?

The standard advice is really only given for those experiencing flu-like symptoms of increased fever: every four hours while awake during their active period.

However, certain situations warrant more frequent monitoring: Infants/young children may need temp checks every few days depending on diagnoses . For patients undergoing certain treatment methods (e.g., chemotherapy), weekly tracking might be necessary;

Pro tip: Check with healthcare professional about individualized circumstance guidance


By now hopefully we've cleared up any questions regarding how to use a thermometer like a pro! Remember: different types have different approaches so it all comes down onto which type you prefer the most. Don't forget - always check manufacturer instructions beforehand and don’t hesitate from calling expert help whenever uncertain about reading interpretation. Good luck out there folks 🤞🏼

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