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With the coronavirus pandemic and flu season currently present, many may have already started using their thermometer to check temperatures on both themselves and their family members. But did you know it’s important to sterilise your thermometer after each use to prevent you from contaminating other people in your family or household with your germs.
How to clean a thermometer
To clean a digital thermometer you can wash the tip that was inside your mouth for 20 seconds using soap and water.
Try not to get the screen wet as you may risk ruining the thermometer.
Any type of thermometer
The perhaps quickest way to sterilise any type of thermometer is to wipe it down with alcohol.
This can be done either by using alcohol wipes or soaking a cotton ball in alcohol.
Dr Robert Frenck, Medical Director, Division of Infectious Diseases at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital told Parents: “If you’re using a digital thermometer, it’s best to wipe the thermometer down with rubbing alcohol or a bleach wipe and let the thermometer dry.”
Let the alcohol dry completely before you use it again.
If you wipe it with a towel it could reintroduce bacteria.
To make sure you have eliminated traces of alcohol, you can rinse it in cool running water.
The liquid you use should contain at least 60 percent alcohol.
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To check the temperature of children below the age of three, a digital rectal thermometer is usually chosen.
These must be washed after each time you use it, even if its only on one person.
Use the alcohol or water and soap method for the rectal thermometer as outlined above.
To clean ear thermometers, wipe the señor with a cotton swab dipped in alcohol.
Infrared or forehead thermometers
Some thermometers don’t actually touch the skin, but they should still be sanitised.
Use bleach or alcohol wipes or a pad soaked with alcohol.
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