Body Temperature:


Our skin is one of our largest organs and its function is to protect the body from injury, infection and maintain a constant body temperature within its normal range of 36-37°C.


Our body temperature is constantly monitored by a thermostat within the brain. If this temperature was to raise or fall various mechanisms are activated to either warm or cool the body.


How the body keeps warm:

  • Blood vessels constrict to reduce blood flow to the skin to maintain core temperature.
  • Activity of our sweat glands is reduced.
  • Hairs stand up on end to trap and warm air close to the skin.
  • Body's other systems react by producing more warmth.
  • Rate of metabolism is increased.
  • Heat is also generated by muscle activity.


How the body loses Heat:

Body activates a number of mechanisms to encourage heat loss:

  • Blood vessels dilate; blood flow to the surface increased and more heat is lost.
  • Sweat glands become more active.
  • Sweat cools the skin as it evaporates.


Checking Temperature:

  • Digital thermometer: This can be used to measure temperature under the tongue or armpit.
  • Forehead thermometer: Hold the strip in place against the forehead for about 30 seconds.
  • Ear sensor thermometer: The tip of the thermometer is placed inside the ear and gives a temperature reading within 1 second.


Look at sections on:

  • Hypothermia.
  • Heat Exhaustion.



We hope you find this article useful. This is one in an alphabetical series of articles addressing various symptoms and their first aid treatments. If you would like more information on related resuscitation and first aid training, please get in touch.


You might also be interested in our blog. One of our more popular articles is about quality or quantity when it comes to first aid training.


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