You can get fast and accurate readings with digital thermometers. You can use a digital thermometer in three ways:
- Oral (in the mouth)
- Rectal (in the bottom)
- Axillary (under the arm)
Be sure to label your thermometer either “oral” or “rectal” to know the difference.
Taking your temperature orally with a digital thermometer
- Wash your hands with soap and water.
- Put the tip into a new throw-away plastic cover if one is available. If you do not have a cover, clean the pointed end (probe) with soap and warm water or rubbing alcohol and then rinsed to remove the alcohol.
- Do not eat or drink anything for at least five minutes before you take your temperature. You should keep your mouth closed during this time.
- Place the thermometer tip under the tongue. Close your lips gently around the thermometer.
- Keep the thermometer under your tongue until the digital thermometer beeps. (or hold the thermometer in the same spot for about 40 seconds)
- Readings will continue to increase and the F (or C) symbol will flash during measurement.
- Remove or eject the throw-away cover if you used one or rinse thermometer in cold water, clean it with alcohol, and rinse again.