These days whenever my mother hears people in her neighbourhood complain they are sick or do not feel very well she always starts to take her own temperature several times a day. It’s a habit she has developed during the COVID-19 situation. But to be honest I never understood why. And whenever I ask all she tells me is something like ‘better be safe than sorry’.

So when I had to visit my doctor for a checkup of my little baby girl I decided to discuss this with my doctor. To my surprise she fully agrees with my mother. Why is this so important, I replied. My doctor explained that fever is a clear signal that your body has been infected by a virus. So whenever there are people around you who do not feel well and have a raised temperature or a fever, chances are that they have indeed been infected and might infect you as well. Keeping your distance from these people is obviously very important, but it might already be too late and you also might have been infected.

As soon as your body detects the virus your immune system will be activated and it will start to fight the virus to get it out of your system. Consequently the temperature of your body will start to rise and that is a clear sign you have been infected. In these times of COVID-19 it is crucial to get medical help as soon as you have a fever.

Especially with babies, young kids and elderly people like your mother, my doctor told me, it is a smart decision to start taking your own temperature and the temperature of your child quite often, preferably every hour or even better: every 30 minutes.

But how do I do that, I replied. Because my little girl will not be very happy with me if I try to measure her temperature using our ear thermometer. My doctor smiled and showed me a new type of thermometer. They are called Temporal Artery Thermometers. They measure your body temperature with a gentle swipe across the forehead, she told me. Here lies the temporal artery just 2 millimeter below the skin. So a perfect spot to measure your body temperature accurately, my doctor told me. And it really helps that this thermometer is non-invasive. So your child, but also adults, will love having their temperature taking. Because it just requires a gentle swipe of the thermometer across the forehead. You can even take their temperature while they are asleep, my doctor added.