Are Forehead Thermometers Accurate?

Are Forehead Thermometers Accurate?

Chances are one of the thermometers you have at home is the one you use on the forehead. If you think you or a family member has a fever, you take it out and use it. They are the preferred thermometer because they are easy to use and also easy to read. Therefore, since they are easy to operate, they are the ones you will want to use. Because who wants to stumble around using a thermometer?

However, here is the thing. Even though they are simple to use, how accurate are they? Unfortunately, they are not as accurate as ear or oral thermometers. But that does not mean they are useless either. Let’s firstly go into how forehead thermometers work.

How Do Forehead Thermometers Work?

The way forehead thermometers work is that they use infrared sensors when it comes to measuring someone’s temperature. They are the easiest thermometers to use when it comes to taking the temperature of children because some cannot stand having the thermometer stuck in their ears and mouths. Therefore, the child will be less likely to throw a fuss when you take their temperature by using a forehead thermometer. And even though they are not as accurate as other types of thermometers, the forehead ones will be accurate enough to detect a fever. The exact degree won’t be accurately detected.

You already know that the oral, ear and even rectal thermometers are a lot more accurate than the forehead ones. How was this accuracy determined? Let’s talk about that now.

What Determined The Accuracy Of Forehead Thermometers?

A study conducted in 2020 discovered that forehead thermometers were not as accurate as of the other types, and there is one common reason that the forehead ones are not as accurate. It boils down to the environment where you are when you take your temperature with that particular thermometer. If you are taking your temperature by using that thermometer in an area where there is direct sunlight or if you are in a warm area, that will affect the reading.

Also, if you are wearing a headband, headwrap, or have something on your head such as makeup, sweat, dirt, or lotion, that can also have an impact on the temperature reading. That is why, based on a 2013 study, it was found that forehead thermometers were not suitable for pediatric or hospital settings because of the lack of accuracy.

Now you know those forehead thermometers are not the most accurate way to take someone’s temperature, you may want to know which is the most accurate way to do so.

What Is The Most Accurate Method To Take Someone’s Temperature?

The best way to take someone’s temperature is by using an oral thermometer, and not the ones with mercury. If the glass shatters and the mercury comes out, that will be toxic. You will want to use a modern oral thermometer that is the product of the latest technology which does not contain mercury.

The best way to take your temperature is by putting the probe at the end of the thermometer under the tongue, then keeping the mouth closed. Your lips will hold the thermometer and it takes about three minutes to get an accurate reading. Once the thermometer beeps, then you know that you took the temperature accurately.

However, if you only have a forehead thermometer, then you will want to make sure that your face is clear of any makeup or lotion, or dirt. You will want to make sure that you haven’t worn any headbands or headwraps. and have your temperature taken in a room without sunlight and heat. That will give you a more accurate reading, but the oral thermometer is best.

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