An infrared thermometer is an affordable and effective tool for measuring a person’s temperature from a distance.
Here we will go over some best practices for using these tools which will help you get the best results.
Keep in mind that when using an infrared thermometer, how and where it is used may affect the measurement – for example, head coverings, the ambient environment, and the reading location on the forehead can all affect results.
You should strictly follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for your thermometer to avoid measurement errors.
Then many people wonder:
How to use a non-contact infrared thermometer?
How do I check my Temperature with an Infrared Thermometer?
How to check body temperature with an infrared thermometer?
The first step to using a non-contact infrared thermometer is to evaluate your testing environment:
- it should be free of air drafts
- out of the direct sun, and
- away from radiant heat sources.
The environmental temperature should be in line with the specifications in the manual for your thermometer. The best practice is to leave your thermometer in the testing environment for at least ten minutes prior to use so it can adjust to the environment.
Next, you must make sure the subject is ready to be tested by making sure that the test area of the forehead is clean, dry, and unobstructed.
You must also verify that the temperature of the person’s forehead has not been influenced by wearing excessive clothing or head covers, or by using facial cleansing products like cosmetic wipes. Any outside influence on a person’s forehead temperature prior to testing will skew your measurements.
Infrared Thermometer distance
Measuring distance of infrared thermometer:
When taking measurements, keep in mind that measurement distance from the subject is different for every infrared thermometer – check the manual for your device to determine the correct distance.
To correctly take a measurement, hold your thermometer perpendicular to the subject’s forehead at the manufacturer’s recommended distance. Make sure you hold the device directly perpendicular to the forehead or readings will be incorrect. If outdoors, make sure the subject is out of direct sunlight. Failure to do so will also result in incorrect readings.
Infrared Thermometer accuracy
The question arises whether you can take body temperature with an infrared thermometer, and you can with a high-quality medical infrared thermometer under certain conditions.
Problems arise, however, especially during the pandemic scare. An infrared thermometer can be highly inaccurate, mostly because of operator mistakes.
Inaccuracies include operating errors and misinterpretations of readings. People who don’t know how to use thermometers can get inaccurate readings for a number of different reasons. These include:
- Not Following Instructions: Infrared Thermometer must be used at the proper distance – not too close or too far away – to get an accurate reading.
- Only Accurate for Reading Surface Temps: The infrared thermometers only measure the surface temperature of the skin. That can fluctuate for many reasons, and the guns don’t measure internal temperature like a probe.
- Needs Skilled Adjustment: A infrared thermometer needs to be adjusted to read the temperatures of different surfaces.
- Subject to Environmental Influences: Frost, rain, and other conditions can affect surface temperatures. Rapid changes in the ambient temperature of a room can also skew readings. Electromagnetic field and radio frequency interference can cause inaccurate readings.
- Not Transparent to Glass and Other Substances: Infrared thermometer can’t read temperatures through the glass and other transparent materials. Instead, they make the surface temperature of the barrier instead of the target.
Measuring body temperature
General Guidelines on measuring body temperature and using an infrared thermometer
- Compare the accuracy, suitability, convenience, and price of infrared thermometers before purchase.
- Choose an infrared thermometer and method of measurement which suit the individual’s age and health condition; Consult healthcare professionals if in doubt.
- Patients with communicable diseases should use personal thermometers to avoid cross-infection.
- Familiarize with the correct use of infrared thermometer and temperature reading by referring to the user instructions provided by manufacturer.
- Avoid activities that would distort temperature measurement (e.g. drinking hot water immediately before taking oral temperature).
- Clean and maintain the infrared thermometer according to the procedures recommended by the user instructions.
- In case body temperature needs to be taken regularly, take the temperature at the same time of each day and use the same temperature-taking method to allow comparison.
- If there is any doubt about the body temperature reading, please consult healthcare professionals.
The most read
As people plan to get back into a rut, many are considering buying technologies that can detect elevated temperatures. While it is not guaranteed that it can be determined if someone has an infection, temperature detection has its benefits.
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What is a “normal” human body temperature? That question is a bit more difficult to answer than you think.