Health - COMMON HEALTH QUESTIONS - FIRST AID : How do I take someone's temperature?
You can take someone's temperature quickly and easily using a thermometer. Make sure the thermometer is clean and that you read the manufacturer's instructions first.
If you're taking a child's temperature, stay with them during the reading and put the thermometer away afterwards so they don't play with it.
Read more information about taking a child's temperature.
Choosing a thermometer
You can buy a thermometer from your local pharmacy. Different types are available:
- Digital thermometers are an accurate and easy way to take a temperature from the armpit or mouth. For children under five, take their temperature from under their armpit.
- Ear thermometers are quick and easy to use, but expensive. The reading may not be accurate if the thermometer isn't correctly placed in the ear.
- Strip-type thermometers are not an accurate way of taking a temperature. They show the temperature of the skin, not the body.
- Mercury-in-glass thermometers are no longer sold and should not be used. They can break, releasing small shards of glass and highly poisonous mercury.
What's a high temperature?
A fever (high temperature) is generally considered to be 37.5C (100.4F) or over.
If someone has a fever and you need medical advice, you can: