Ever since the Covid-19 pandemic started it has been difficult to travel, to visit friends and family – especially when they live in another part of the country. So how do we stay safe when we travel – by bus or train or maybe by plane?

The first thing to remember that as soon as anyone in your family or travel party has a fever, do not leave your house and postpone your travel plans. Please be aware that if you feel more or less okay that does not mean your temperature is okay as well. The only way the know for sure is by measuring your own body temperature and the body temperature of your children and for example your old mother who travels with you and well.

So how do you perform a perfect measurement of a person’s body temperature? First be aware that not all thermometers are very accurate. Take for example the non-contact infrared thermometers or IR guns we have seen a lot on tv. These cheap and Chinese made thermometers are not very well suited for measuring the body temperature of humans. They look very easy to use (simply point-and-click – right?) but in reality is very hard to “hit” the correct spot on the forehead of the person whose temperate you want to measure. The infrared beam of these thermometers is very narrow and if your hands shake a bit or the person you are performing a measurement on is not able (or willing) to keep their head perfectly still you will miss the correct spot. And that means that all you are doing is measuring the temperature of their skin and that is a useless number if you want to check for fever.

Another thermometer people sometimes use is the in-ear thermometer. Not your best choice either. Because to perform a correct measurement you have to push the sensor head of the thermometer quite deep into their ear. Because the ear canal is different for every person it is very hard to push the thermometer in just far enough. Oftentimes your will not push it far enough inside and your measurement will be incorrect. Or you push the sensor head too far in and that will hurt your child. It might even damage their ear drum. 

Your best choice is a temporal artery thermometer. With these thermometers you gently swipe the sensor head across the forehead of your child, your mom or yourself. Because the sensor head is quite big it is impossible to miss the correct spot on the forehead for a good measurement (the temporal artery on the forehead). These temporal artery thermometers are extremely accurate and very easy to use. And because they are non-invasive your child will not be scared when you want to take their temperature. You can even check their temperature while they are asleep.

Please be aware that we always have to check body temperature twice a day. Because in the morning the body temperature is significantly lower than at the end of the day. The difference can be as high as 0,9 oC, so big enough to bring a normal temperature into the fever range. So always check body temperature twice daily.

Fever is just one part of travelling safely. There is more you can do. For example, always wear a mouth mask or a face mask – inside the bus or train but preferably also when walking through a terminal etc. Keep a safe distance from other people. And wash your hands as often as you can. Always use soap. Even better: use a sanitary gel to wash your hands. And if you have to cough or sneeze, always cover your mouth with your hand. And thoroughly wash your hands afterwards.