Despite the numerous advantages that technological advances on devices that aid in the management and treatment of various illnesses, numerous individuals will admit that they have had some difficulty understanding how these devices work. For parents in particular, the incorrect use of the infrared non contact thermometer has led to some speculation regarding the effectiveness and accuracy of the device.
Improper use of this device tends to give temperature readings that are not accurate and may cause parents to undermine, or in some cases over-estimate the severity of a child fever. As a result, the erroneous reading may cause a child to receive medical attention too late, or set in motion events that lead to unnecessary visits to the hospital emergency room. Therefore, it is the aim of this article to educate parents on the proper use of infrared non contact thermometers to acquire precise temperature results.
Correct way to use an infrared non-contact thermometer to get accurate readings
The first step in learning how to use this device is understanding how it works. Non-contact infrared thermometers measure body temperature through the heat pulses that are emitted by the temporal artery which is located, and runs down, the middle of an individual’s forehead. Therefore, the proper technique that should be utilized to obtain accurate temperature readings when using an infrared non contact thermometer is by simply placing the device right above the location of the temporal artery. To locate this artery, one should place a finger on the middle of their forehead, and trace an invisible line from their hairline down. This enables one to know the general locale above which to place the thermometer. Should readings be taken either too much to the left or right, the resulting registered reading could be inaccurate.
It is worth noting that another incorrect way of using the infrared non contact thermometer is by placing it too close, or too far from the skin. In addition to this improper method, some individuals have been known to actually let the thermometer get into contact with the skin. All these actions lead to incorrect temperature readings. The recommended distance that the device requires to give exact readings is between 1.2-6 inches from the skin. Converted into centimeters, this translates to between 3 and 5cm from the forehead.
Tips that further ensure accurate results from infrared non contact thermometers: To acquire the most precise readings, one should ensure that the skin on the forehead is dry and non-hairy. This is why the middle of the forehead is most recommended. Furthermore, the room in which the thermometer is being utilized should be draft free, and have a room temperature that is between 16-40 degrees Celsius (60.8-104 degrees Fahrenheit).