When I was a kid I went into hospital for an op and I had my temperature taken by a thermometer under my arm. That was the last time I saw a mercury thermometer.
Till of course today. See I'm used to tympanic thermometers. Put on a cover, jab into ear, push button and bang result. I don't even know if they are sill considered good practice what with mercury being poisonous and all. NHS direct doesn't think so.
Mercury thermometers are now being phased out, because they are dangerous if they get broken. Mercury is poisonous if swallowed, or if it comes into contact with the skin.
Only adults should use mercury thermometers because children are more likely to bite it and break the glass. You should shake a mercury thermometer before you use it. This is so that the mercury goes back into the bulb of the thermometer, which will allow you to take an accurate reading To take a person's temperature, you can place a mercury thermometer either in their mouth, or under their armpit.
So another one for the lecturers. And that shaking the mercury down? Still haven't managed it yet!