How Accurate are Infrared Thermometers?

Are infrared thermometers really accurate in detecting fever?

With the rise of the epidemic, many hospitals and businesses have implemented temperature checks for employees, patients, and customers using infrared thermometers.

These devices offer efficiency, safety, and accuracy in detecting fevers in large groups of people.

Research has shown that when used correctly, non-contact or infrared thermometers are just as accurate as oral thermometers.

Non-contact thermometers are popular with pediatricians, as children often fidget when trying to get a temperature reading.

The device offers security to both parties while providing a fast and accurate reading.

Of course, when available, a personal thermometer is the gold standard in healthcare, but due to the epidemic and the need for mass testing quickly, a non-contact thermometer has become the standard.

The operator must follow device protocol and will not detect a fever in someone who has taken fever-reducing medications.

But with many establishments now requiring temperature checks, these portable thermometers are proving to be safe, fast, and accurate while helping to reduce the spread of the epidemic.

Infrared forehead thermometer accuracy

For general home use, forehead thermometers will give you an idea of ​​whether or not a person has a fever.

The environment in which a person uses a forehead thermometer can affect its accuracy, according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) trusted source.

The FDA writes that a draft, direct sunlight, or a heat source could affect the temperature reading and make it inaccurate.

The reading could also be inaccurate if a person has been wearing a headband or headband before taking it or if they have sweat or dirt on their forehead.

How to use infrared thermometer?

Forehead thermometers use infrared sensors to capture infrared radiation produced by the body. Although infrared radiation is not visible, it can be felt by a person as heat.

One person can take another person’s temperature with a forehead thermometer by holding the thermometer a few inches from the center of the forehead, just above the eyebrows.

The exact positioning will depend on the manufacturer’s instructions.

A lens inside the thermometer focuses the infrared radiation that the person emits. The thermometer measures this electrical reading and displays the result on the thermometer screen.

In the United States, thermometers usually show the temperature at °F. In many other countries, thermometers will show the temperature at °C.

It will only take a person a few seconds to take a temperature reading with a forehead thermometer.

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