What Is a Clinical Thermometer?

A clinical thermometer is a thermometer that has been designed to measure the human body's temperature; they are designed to detect temperatures a few degrees above and below the average human temperature (97.7 to 99.5 degrees Fahrenheit). Historically, clinical thermometers were generally mercury-filled, but modern thermometers are often digital.

Mercury thermometers are not recommended due to the toxicity of mercury. Digital electronic thermometers, however, are easy to read and accurate. They can measure a person's temperature orally and in the ear. Temperature strips are a convenient alternative to digital and mercury thermometers, but they can be inaccurate and should only be used under the armpit.