With the number of new contaminations soaring it is crucial that we are all very careful. Because without knowing we might have been infected already and thus be a danger to other people around us: your children, your parents, other family members but strangers as well. How to protect ourselves and our loved ones. There is a very simple way of checking yourself and making sure you are not contaminated with the Covid-19 virus. That is checking your body temperature – twice a day!

Why is that? Because fever is an early warning signal. As soon as your body temperature starts to rise that may be a clear sign that you are indeed infected. So if you measure your own temperature and the body temperature of your children regularly you will be able to discover a possible contamination in no time. But why twice daily, you may ask. That has to do with a phenomenon that is called the circadian cycle. Every human being has a circadian cycle where your body temperature is lower early in the morning than it is at the end of the day. The difference can be quite significant: up to 0,9 oC. That means that if you check your body temperature the measurement may give you a perfectly normal reading. But later in the day your temperature may rise substantially and that may mean that in a few hours time you have developed a fever. So to make sure you have a good insight into your own body temperature and the temperature of your children always check body temperature twice daily: early in the morning and at the end of the day.

Now, what is the best way to measure body temperature? Many people rely on in-ear thermometers or use one of those cheap Chinese made non-contact infrared thermometer (a lot of people call them: IR guns). Not your best choice. Because if you check your children’s temperature twice a day and have to push an in-ear thermometer into their ear two times per day within no time their ears will start to hurt. Besides that, an in-ear thermometer is not very accurate. The reason is that every person’s ear canal is anatomically different. So to be able to perform a measurement you can never be sure how far into the ear you have to push the sensor head of the in-ear thermometer. So without a doubt this procedure will start to hurt plus it will hardly give you a reliable temperature reading. Because if you do not position it correctly it will not be able to properly perform a measurement.

IR guns are inaccurate as well. You aim at the forehead of your child and hope you will “hit” the correct spot (the artery) on the forehead. Most likely you will not, because the infrared beam is very narrow. So it is hard to hit just the right spot. That means that in many cases instead of measuring your child’s body temperature you will only measure the temperature of their skin. The temperature of the skin will not give you any useful indication of your child having a fever or not.

So don’t use either of these thermometers. A much better choice is a temporal artery thermometer, like the thermometers made by US firm Exergen. When using temporal artery thermometers all you have to do to perform a very accurate temperature measurement is a gentle swipe with the sensor head of the thermometer across the forehead of your child (or yourself). The sensor will measure the temperature of the blood in the temporal artery on the forehead, which gives you an excellent temperature measurement. Temporal artery thermometer are non-invasive so they do not hurt your child. And the beauty is, because they are so easy to use you can even measure your child’s body temperature when they are asleep.