Are you hot?
That’s essentially what those infrared thermometer guns are trying to determine. Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, you’ve probably noticed increased use of such thermal detection units at airports, doctor’s offices, and other checkpoints. The purpose of these devices is to measure body temperature quickly, easily, and at a distance.
The trouble is, it’s not clear how well all of those non-contact infrared thermometers work, or even if they’ve been tested for accuracy. For home use among your own family, you want to make sure you have something that will give accurate readings, you know?
Our family has a digital thermometer for oral use, but I always feel leery about getting germs from it when switching from mouth to mouth, even after wiping it off. In fact, a medical expert pointed out in this article that “People do not usually clean thermometers well, so any version that requires temperature readings from the… mouth is more likely to carry infection from previous uses.”
We also have two digital ear thermometers, which were rather expensive when they first came out, but I was never satisfied with them. One of them always read a little high and the other one always read a little low. Plus you have to buy plastic probe covers and stick it in people’s ears with perfect aim down the ear canal to get a good reading. With the coronavirus pandemic, I wanted to get something that was not only accurate, but quick and easy to use.
So I was searching for the latest infrared thermometers on Amazon, and I couldn’t believe how many of them were made in China. I thought, can’t Americans even make a thermometer? A lot of the reviews were saying they were inaccurate, too.
Most of them appeared to be copies of the laser temperature guns you can get at Home Depot for measuring room surface temperatures (and which say “Not Intended for Testing Human Temperature”). So I bet they only measure the surface temperature of your forehead. It seems to me that a thermometer for measuring body temperature should be designed a little differently than a construction tool!
I was about to give up when I found the perfect one! The Exergen Temporal Scanner! It’s basically a forehead thermometer that measures the infrared energy emitted from the temporal artery, which is just under the surface of the skin, so it’s directly measuring the core body temperature. You can’t get much more accurate than that!
I’m not the only one who likes Exergen. New York Magazine recently asked nearly 50 physicians, nurses, and pharmacists about what medical essentials they recommend for their own families. Exergen was rated the #1 thermometer for its accuracy, quick ease of use, and non-invasiveness.
- Easy to use
- Recommended for all ages
- #1 preferred by nurses
- #1 preferred by pediatricians
- Soft Glow display with back light
- Eight scan memory
- Silent mode available
- Switches Fahrenheit to Celsius
- One-button programming
Even better: this thermometer was invented, designed, assembled, tested, and packaged in the USA by Exergen Corporation. The company was founded in 1980 by Francesco Pompei, an MIT grad, and he’s the one who patented the world’s first temporal artery thermometer. Yep, he did all the research and everything right here in the US while working as a researcher at Harvard, and yet I never even heard of him! Not only that, the Exergen Temporal Scanner is supposedly the best-selling thermometer in the USA and I never heard of it before this!
The Exergen Temporal Scanner works a bit differently than the no-contact infrared guns, but it’s just as easy. It measures body temperature with a light scan of the forehead. So it does touch people’s foreheads briefly (you kind of just sweep it across), but it doesn’t touch any mucous membranes and you can just wipe it off with an alcohol wipe. It is safe, easy to use, and recommended for patients of all ages from newborn to elderly.
Even after the pandemic is over, you will be able to face cold and flu seasons with confidence from now on, knowing that a quick forehead scan will tell you if someone has a fever or not. (Just remember: Flu = Fever.) The Exergen technology has been proven accurate by more than 70 published clinical studies.
Here is the specific model that we bought (it needs a 9 volt battery, not included):
A final note: No matter what kind of digital or battery-powered thermometer you choose, you should still keep an old-fashioned glass thermometer on hand as an emergency backup, for travel, or camping. It will last forever and it will always work.
Please note: The above product was NOT provided for free or at a discount in exchange for a review. This item was purchased by a homeschooling family at their own expense.