June is #NationalSafetyMonth, so our Transition Tips focus on tools to help us keep control over our own health. Both preparation and access to information allow us to enjoy our summers and have confidence that each of us has the tools to monitor and take care of routine health needs.
- June 6: Building Our Own First Aid Kits
- June 13: Accessible Thermometers
- June 20: Labeling Our Medicines Accessibly
- June 27: Accessible Prescriptions
In this second installment of #NationalSafetyMonth June, we explore options for non-visually accessible thermometers.
Why Are Accessible Thermometers Important?
When we’re not feeling well, the presence or absence of a fever, the temperature range of that fever, and the length of time the fever is present all provide important information about what might be going on.
Fevers are the body’s way of fighting off an infection, whether caused by a virus or by bacteria. A low-grade fever (typically under 100.0 degrees Fahrenheit) for a day or two is usually not a cause for concern. Higher fevers and fevers lasting several days may require treatment (such as over-the-counter fever-reducing medicines) and/or a visit to a healthcare provider.
Additionally, many schools and businesses have wellness policies addressing fevers. In many cases, a person must have a temperature of less than 100.0 degrees Fahrenheit without the use of fever-reducing medicine for 24 hours.
Information is power
Thus, independent access to information about our body temperature empowers us to consider our next steps, including over-the-counter medications and/or a visit to the doctor. It also helps us track the progress or decline of a fever, and this may be important for return-to-school/employment purposes.
- Reizen Talking Digital Thermometer from MaxiAids for $16.95, plus shipping
- Talking Oral Medical Thermometer from LS&S Products for $17.95, plus shipping
- HealthSmart Talking Infrared Ear & Forehead Thermometer from Amazon for $21.95 with free Prime shipping
- MOBI – Ultra Pulse Digital Thermometer from Amazon for $29.95 with free Prime shipping
- Talking Ear Thermometer from LS&S Products for $29.95, plus shipping
- Veridian Talking Ear & Forehead Infrared Thermometer from Amazon for $36.88 with free Prime shipping
- Reizen Temp-Talk 6 from MaxiAids for $39.95, plus shipping
- Kinsa QuickCare Smart Digital Medical Thermometer for $18.60 from Amazon with free Prime shipping
- iHealth Wireless No-Touch Bluetooth Digital Infrared Fever Thermometer with 3 Sensors from Amazon for $39.99
Temperature-sensing wearable devices
Some wearable devices, like Smart watches and fitness trackers, contain temperature sensors. The Apple Watch Series 8 or Apple Watch Ultra, and we can configure one of those devices to report information to our iPhone’s Health app (via “Body Temperature” and “Wrist Temperature” settings. However, wrist temperatures are not nearly as accurate as other body temperature measures. Additionally, the device takes temperature measurements over time and does not provide temperature measurements on demand. Thus, while body temperature information from a wearable device might show upward or downward body temperature trends, we cannot rely on them as thermometers for health-related purposes.
Of course, we can also use inaccessible thermometers if we have sighted assistance available. That sighted assistance may be a friend or acquaintance in person or on a Zoom or Facetime call. Alternatively, we can use online visual assistance programs like AIRA and Be My Eyes; find out more in the “AIRA Access Points and Be My Eyes Apps” Bridges Blog post from April of this year.
Follow the Bridges Helpdesk Facebook page for more transition tips, and please contact the Bridges Technical Assistance Center’s Free Helpdesk for Maryland Blind/Low Vision Transition Students, Families, and Educators anytime using:
- Our Accessible web form
- Email: Helpdesk@IMAGEmd.org
- Text or Leave a Voice mail message: (410) 357-1546
- Bridges Helpdesk Facebook page or Facebook Messenger
This unique project is being coordinated through The IMAGE Center of Maryland, a center for independent living in Towson, and it is funded by a grant from the Maryland Department of Education Division of Special Education/Early Intervention Services.