Measure your fever correctly

This text provides information in simple language on the topic: How to measure fever correctly.

What is fever

Fever is a significantly increased body temperature. Usually, the body temperature in humans is between 36.5 and 37.5 degrees. A person's body temperature is higher than 38 degrees? Then the person has a fever.

Fever is not a disease. Fever is an important protective reaction in the body. The increased temperature helps against harmful bacteria and viruses. Therefore, a fever is often a sign of inflammation in the body.

But fever can also be dangerous. Is the body temperature of an adult 39 degrees and above? Then that person should see a doctor.

You want to know: do I have a fever? Then you can measure your body temperature with a fever thermometer.

What is the best thermometer for you to measure a fever?

There are different types of fever thermometers. One differentiates:

  • Contact thermometer
  • and infrared thermometer.

A contact thermometer measures the body temperature directly on the skin.The thermometer touches the skin. Most contact thermometers are digital. This means: The temperature is displayed on a small screen on the thermometer. The thermometer works with a battery.

An infrared thermometer measures the body's infrared radiation. Then the thermometer calculates the body temperature. The thermometer does not touch the skin. An infrared thermometer only takes a few seconds to measure. Infrared thermometers are also digital.

Warning: not all thermometers work the same way. Therefore, always read the instructions for use of your thermometer first. Do you buy your thermometer from the pharmacy? Then ask the pharmacist: How do I use the thermometer correctly?

What is the best part of your body to measure a fever?

You can measure your body temperature in different parts of your body. Are suitable:

  • nach
  • mouth
  • Armpit
  • ear
  • forehead

Note: Not all thermometers are suitable for all parts of the body.

First clean the thermometer. Then measure your body temperature.

The video shows: This is how you measure a fever correctly.

How to measure correctly on the anus:

You can measure the body temperature in the anus with a contact thermometer. Grease the tip of the thermometer with a greasy cream. Vaseline, for example, is suitable for this. It is best to lie on your side or on your back. Then insert the tip of the thermometer into the anus. The measurement on the anus is very accurate.

How to measure correctly in the mouth:

You can measure the body temperature in the mouth with a contact thermometer. Do not drink cold or warm drinks 30 minutes before measuring. And do not eat cold or warm food 30 minutes before measuring. Place the tip of the thermometer under your tongue. Close your lips while measuring.

How to measure correctly under the armpit:

You can measure the body temperature with a contact thermometer under the armpit. Place the tip of the thermometer in your armpit. Then put your arm close to your body.

Note: The result when measuring under the armpit is often inaccurate. And measuring takes longer than on the other parts of the body. Measure the temperature for at least five minutes.

How to measure correctly in the ear:

You need an ear thermometer to take a temperature in your ear. The ear thermometer is a special infrared thermometer. While measuring, pull the ear slightly backwards with your hand. This is how the ear canal widens. Insert the thermometer into your ear canal to measure. Most ear thermometers have a protective cap. The protective cap is important: the thermometer does not measure without the protective cap.

Warning: Do not use the ear thermometer on children under 6 months. And do not use the ear thermometer if there is an infection in the ear.

How to measure correctly on the forehead:

You can measure the body temperature on the forehead with an infrared thermometer. Hold the thermometer up to your forehead to take a measurement. The thermometer does not touch the forehead.

Note: Read the instructions for use for your thermometer first. You don't know: which thermometer is best for me? Then you can find out about a suitable fever thermometer in the pharmacy, for example.

Where can you get more information?

Would you like to read more about taking a temperature? More information can be found here. Attention: This link leads out of our simple language offer. The information is then no longer in plain language.

Attention: This text only contains general information. The text does not replace a visit to the doctor. Only a doctor can give you accurate information. Are you feeling sick? Or do you have questions about an illness? Then you should always see a doctor.

We wrote the texts together with the Light Language Research Center. The light language research center is at the University of Hildesheim.