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Medical Thermometers



Medical Thermometers
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 4 to 6
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   9.47

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    axillary, hypothalamus, infrared, predictive, pyrogens, rectal, tactile, thermoscopes, continuous, convert, distinguish, stuffy, therefore, temperature, overall, pacifier
     content words:    Santorio Santorio, Galileo Galilei, Gabriel Fahrenheit, Sir Thomas Allbutt, Theodore Hannes Benzinger


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Medical Thermometers
By Jennifer Kenny
  

1     Thermometers measure temperature. Some measure the air temperature outdoors. Some measure the water temperature in the ocean. Cooks use them in the kitchen to measure the temperatures of various foods. A medical thermometer is used to measure the temperature of the human body.
 
2     Thermometers have been around for a long time. The first thermometers were called thermoscopes. Several inventors contributed to their overall development. Santorio Santorio was the leader in putting a numerical scale on an instrument. In 1593, Galileo Galilei invented a very basic water thermometer. The inventor of the first mercury thermometer was Gabriel Fahrenheit in 1714. He followed by introducing his temperature scale in 1724. In 1867, Sir Thomas Allbutt introduced the first thermometer meant to take the temperature of a person. Much later, Theodore Benzinger invented the ear thermometer.
 
3     There are different kinds of medical thermometers. For a long time, people only used mercury-in-glass thermometers. The mercury inside the thermometer was attached to a small tube. As the temperature rose, the mercury expanded and flowed up the tube. A person then read the scale printed on the thermometer. The risen mercury was held in place by a constriction in the neck. It needed to be reset by swinging the instrument sharply. In the 1990s, it was determined that using mercury was a risk. The glass tube could break, and the spilled mercury could be dangerous. Other kinds of thermometers became more practical.

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