Identifying a fever is relatively simple if a person has a thermometer. Even without one, there are certain ways of telling whether or not a person has a fever. It is especially important to monitor fevers in babies and children.
How to Check Body Temperature without Thermometer?
Whether you’re dealing with a sudden wave of chills and aches and pains, or you just feel, a little, hotter than usual, the desire to know if you have a fever ASAP is understandable. After all, a fever tends to serve as an indicator that your body is fending something off (like a virus or a bacterial infection) and trying to return to its normal.
Many people can recognize when they feel feverish. Some describe it as a feeling of warmth.
There is no completely accurate way to diagnose a fever without using a thermometer. However, certain techniques can give a person a good idea of whether or not they have a fever.
How to tell your temperature without a thermometer?
Do you need a thermometer to tell if you have a fever? … The only way to know for sure that you have a fever (meaning a temp above 99 to 99.5 degrees Fahrenheit or 37.2 to 37.5 degrees Celsius) is by taking your temperature with a thermometer.
Unfortunately, your chances of accurately guessing whether or not you have a fever without a thermometer are fair at best.
If you’ve managed to dig up an old thermometer, digital and old-school glass thermometers alike should do the trick. But if there’s any indication that your old-school thermometer is cracked or broken, wrap it up in a Ziploc bag and throw it away. Mercury (a silvery-white liquid still present in some household thermometers) could leak out, and it’s toxic.
Of course, before you pop a thermometer under your tongue, you’ll want to clean it, if you have rubbing alcohol on hand, wipe down the thermometer applicator with a cotton ball soaked with rubbing alcohol to sanitize it, then rinse it off again to remove the alcohol. If you don’t have any rubbing alcohol at home, no worries—washing it off with soap and water is absolutely fine (as soap alone can break down and remove bacteria and viruses).
When should you seek medical attention for a fever?
If you feel ill and you’ve got a moderately high fever (think: above 102 degrees Fahrenheit or 38.9 degrees Celsius), that’s your cue to call a doctor to figure out the next steps. Otherwise? “In general, if you’re experiencing fever associated with other symptoms such as shortness of breath, a rash, or confusion, it’s probably best to seek medical attention”.
How to take your temperature
There are several ways to take your temperature. Each has its pros and cons.
Oral temperature: Oral thermometers are used to take a temperature in the mouth. They usually have a digital readout, beep when the reading is complete, and may even alert you if the temperature is high enough to be considered a fever.
Taking a temperature by mouth is a better option for adults than for children and babies. That’s because to get an accurate reading, you need to keep your mouth closed with the thermometer held in place for at least 20 seconds. This can be difficult for children and babies to do.
To use an oral thermometer:
- Avoid eating or drinking 15 minutes prior to inserting the thermometer. That’s because food and drinks can alter the temperature in your mouth and affect the reading.
- Hold the thermometer underneath your tongue for at least 20 seconds before removing it. It should be as close to the center of your mouth as possible. This may vary based on brand, so be sure to check the instructions for your specific thermometer.
- After you get a reading, disinfect the thermometer with antibacterial soap and warm water.
Hot to touch body temperature
If you don’t have a thermometer, there are less accurate ways you can diagnose a fever. Touch is the most popular method, but it’s also the least accurate. This is especially the case if you’re self-diagnosing.
When using touch to diagnose fever in someone else, touch your own skin first, then touch the other person to compare the two temperatures. If the other person is a lot hotter than you, they may have a fever.
You can also try pinching the skin on the back of your hand to check for signs of dehydration. If the skin doesn’t snap back quickly, you could be dehydrated. Dehydration may be a sign of a fever.
The most common symptoms associated with a fever are feeling hot or flushed, chills, body aches, sweating, dehydration, and weakness. If you’re experiencing one or more of these symptoms, and you feel warm to the touch, it’s likely that you have a fever.
Fortunately, you can use an infrared thermometer to check your body temperature. It is as precise as an oral thermometer, it can help you keep track of your body temperature.
If a thermometer is not available, the following signs and symptoms may be a good indication you have a high temperature: Skin feels hot to touch, place a hand on your forehead or another part of the body and it will feel noticeably hotter than usual and may be either dry or wet from sweat.
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As people plan to get back into a rut, many are considering buying technologies that can detect elevated temperatures. While it is not guaranteed that it can be determined if someone has an infection, temperature detection has its benefits.