Your Home Health Center (cont.)
IN THIS ARTICLE
A penlight has a small, intense light that can be easily directed. It is useful for looking into the mouth or throat or examining the skin, and it is easier to handle than a flashlight.
Blood Pressure Cuff
Blood pressure cuffs come in many models. If you have difficulty reading the gauge on a regular cuff, consider an electronic digital model. Ask your pharmacist to recommend a blood pressure kit and show you how to use it. For more information on how to take a blood pressure, see the topic Home Blood Pressure Test.
Digital electronic thermometers are accurate, easy to read, and durable. Temperature strips are very convenient and safe but are not as accurate as digital thermometers and should only be used to measure armpit (axillary) temperature. They are inaccurate when used on the forehead. Thermometers that measure the temperature in the ear are fast, easy to use, and quite accurate, but they are expensive.
Glass thermometers that contain mercury are no longer recommended because of safety concerns. If you have one in your home, consider replacing it with a digital thermometer. You can contact your local recycling center to see if they dispose of thermometers that contain mercury.
Rectal thermometers are helpful for children younger than 6 or anyone who cannot hold an oral thermometer in his or her mouth. For more information on how to take a temperature, see the topic Body Temperature.
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