Everything You Need to Know About Infrared Forehead Thermometers
Temperature is an important sign used by clinicians, parents and carers to assess individuals during acute illness episodes. Although it can be measured using different types of thermometers (oral, rectal, auxiliary, etc), the infrared type is in many cases the most convenient and also the safest way of measuring temperature.
The use of non-contact thermometer devices increased a lot with the Covid-19 pandemic. Many schools, businesses, health care settings and other public places are screening visitors with the purpose of finding those who have a fever, one of the first symptoms of the Coronavirus. They do so by using an infrared thermometer as it offers the advantages of supporting non-invasive, non-contaminated, immediate and accurate temperature measurement.
How do Infrared Thermometers Work?
Infrared thermometers rely on infrared sensors to capture the infrared radiation that the body produces. This radiation can’t be seen by the naked eye but it can be felt as heat. A lens located inside of the device focuses the infrared radiation emitted by the person into a small electronic device called a thermopile.
The thermopile then converts the radiation into heat and then again into electricity. This electrical reading is measured by the thermometer and the result is then displayed on the screen of the device. It takes only a few seconds for a person to take a temperature reading with an infrared forehead thermometer.
What Is the Benefit of Using an Infrared Thermometer?
Because infrared thermometers are non-contact devices, there are lesser chances of passing on the infection or germs from one individual to another. You also don’t have to wash these thermometers after every measurement, like with a contact thermometer, which makes these devices suitable even for bulk or professional temperature monitoring. This advanced design also allows you to measure the body temperature of babies easily, even when they’re sleeping.
How Accurate Is Forehead Thermometer?
Obviously, when you use a thermometer, you need to be confident that you’re getting accurate readings. The advanced infrared forehead thermometer uses a technology that is simple though provides high accuracy. As such, it allows you to obtain reliable information, of course, provided it’s used the right way.
The accuracy of the thermometer will also depend on the product that you use. You need to make sure you use a high-quality product and that you leave the right distance between the thermometer and the body. To get accurate temperature readings you should also avoid using the thermometer when there is a low-battery indication on the screen.
How to Choose the Right Infrared Forehead Thermometer?
It’s very important to have the right thermometer at hand prior to using it for measuring body temperature. To be able to detect the body temperature of an individual quickly and accurately, you should use a high-quality, ideally FDA-certified, infrared thermometer made especially for medical use. Medical infrared thermometers cover a limited temperature range of around 10 degrees centigrades (suitable to detect body temperate within the range of about 32-43 degrees centigrades), allowing it to achieve higher accuracy.
When choosing an infrared thermometer you’ll also want to pay special attention to the response time. Always go for one with a quicker response time, which should be fewer than two seconds. Fast response time means the device gets the body temperature more immediately, which leads to a more accurate reading.
Note that infrared thermometers designed for industrial and domestic applications aren’t appropriate for detecting body temperature. Due to their much bigger temperature range, these thermometers have an accuracy tolerance of nearly ± 2°C. This prevents them from providing high accuracy with body temperature readings.
How to Use an Infrared Forehead Thermometer
To make sure you know all the specifications and functionality of your device well, consider reading the instruction manual carefully before you use it. Being familiar with the specifications will help you use your infrared forehead thermometer more efficiently for getting more precise temperature readings.
Many of the models made for medical use that are available on the market today come with multifunctional settings to meet the different needs and preferences of different users, such as multifunctional modes, temperature unit switch and memory recall. So before using your one for the first time, you’ll also want to adjust the setting to achieve optimal measuring according to your requirements.
On the instruction manual, you’ll find the distance-to-spot ratio which refers to the area being able to be detected compared to the distance taken from the target. Generally, the closer you are to the target, the smaller the measurable area is, thus the more accurate the measurement will be. Considering that these thermometers are easily affected by moisture and dirt, make sure the device is free of dust, dirt, moisture, frost and smoke before starting the measurement process. Keeping the thermometer dry and clean will also help you get a more accurate temperature reading.