The process of thermoregulation is one of the most important physiological mechanisms, which ensures the constancy of the internal environment and the course of all biological reactions. The normal temperature of the human body ranges from 36.5 to 37.2 degrees. This range of temperature values ensures the normal functioning of the body’s defenses and other vital systems.
Under the influence of infectious and non-infectious factors in children of different ages, body temperature may increase. This condition is usually accompanied by malaise, headache, body aches and loss of appetite. In order to have an idea of the true indicators of the child’s body temperature, parents often use a mercury thermometer.
The nature and duration of the assessment of body temperature indices directly depend on the type of thermometer chosen. Thermometers that function by expanding mercury particles are the products that have been used since the invention of the thermometer to measure body temperature. The fact that this type of thermometer has not lost its popularity is due to a number of advantages of a mercury thermometer:
- Accuracy of the data obtained with respect to temperature indicators;
- Affordable price;
- The ability to measure any of the known methods;
- Ease of operation;
- The probability of obtaining an unreliable result is reduced to zero.
Despite these advantages, mercury thermometers have several disadvantages. These disadvantages include:
- The duration of the standard procedure is at least 8 minutes;
- Fragile frame thermometer;
- In case of damage to the thermometer, a person risks getting poisoning with mercury vapor.
Even with these deficiencies in mind, the proper operation of these products will be the guarantor of an effective and safe measurement of indicators.
To obtain the most accurate result from this procedure, parents should be familiar with the key recommendations:
- Before starting the measurement of indicators in the armpit of a child, parents should make sure that there is dry. If the baby is sweating, the area of the armpit is wiped dry with a paper napkin. This event will avoid the false results that occur when the evaporation of sweat and cooling the skin of the child;
- Before using the thermometer, shake it to 35.5 degrees;
- The air temperature in the room where the measurement takes place should be from 18 to 25 degrees. If the room is less than 18 degrees, then before starting to measure the body temperature of the child, it is necessary to warm the thermometer with the palms;
- During the installation of a mercury thermometer in the armpit, make sure that the mercury tip is in contact with the skin of the baby. When the thermometer is installed, it is important to take care that the axilla is covered by the hand of the baby;
- At the time of measurement of temperature indicators, it is important to ensure that the child does not move, does not eat or speak;
- It is wrong to assess the temperature indicators of the body of the child immediately after coming from a walk and after swimming. If a child has recently been capricious or crying, then this procedure is delayed for 30-40 minutes.
To estimate this parameter in children of different ages, the axillary areas, the oral cavity, the inguinal fold, and the rectum are used. If the baby is sick, then this procedure is carried out every 3 hours. If a child takes antipyretic drugs, then the indicators are measured before the drug is taken and 40 minutes after that.
Estimation of body temperature in the oral cavity is most often used in children over 3 years of age, since this procedure can be traumatic for young children. For the safety of measuring the temperature in the mouth, you should be familiar with these recommendations:
- Before the mercury thermometer is in the child’s mouth, it is wiped with a solution of chlorhexidine or Miramistin;
- Before starting the measurement, shake the thermometer to the 35 degree mark;
- The best place for the location of the mercury tip of the thermometer is the child’s hyoid area. Parents of the baby must be careful that the child’s teeth do not press the thermometer tightly (to avoid damage). The duration of this procedure is 56 minutes.
In children of different ages, it is often necessary to measure the indicators rectally (through the rectum). Before using the thermometer, it must be treated with an antiseptic solution and wiped dry. To obtain reliable results, rectal temperature should consider the following rules:
- The depth of introduction of the mercury tip into the rectum of a child is 1.5-2 cm;
- Before the introduction of the thermometer baby laid on the left side, bending his legs to the stomach;
- The tip of the thermometer should be inserted gently, with twisted movements;
- The duration of rectal temperature measurement is from 6 to 8 minutes. During this time, the baby must lie still;
- After the specified time, the tip of the thermometer is carefully removed from the rectum.
The area of the inguinal fold is not the preferred place to implement this procedure. The use of this zone is permissible in infants. To implement the procedure, the baby is placed on the back, and one leg is bent in the region of the hip joint and pressed against the stomach.
The mercury tip of the thermometer is installed in the area of the inguinal fold, pressing it with the baby’s foot. The duration of the measurement procedure in this format is from 7 to 10 minutes. During the procedure, you must take care that the baby does not make sudden movements and does not cry.
Another less common area for measuring body temperature is the ear canal. Infrared thermometers are most often used for this procedure, but their absence easily compensates for a mercury thermometer.
For the implementation of the procedure, it is necessary to gently push the earlobe of the child up and back. After that, the tip of the thermometer is installed in the ear canal. Depth of injection is no more than 1 cm.
It is necessary to measure the temperature in the ear canal from 5 to 8 minutes. This method is preferable for children older than 2 years, since newborns have an underdeveloped ear canal. Usually such babies have an increased risk of traumatic injury.