Forehead thermometers use infrared sensors to measure the temperature of the superficial temporal artery, which is a branch of the carotid artery, sometimes known as non-contact infrared thermometers.
Forehead thermometers that require no physical contact have become very popular for use in venues such as airports, stores, and stadiums with readings around 0.6°C cooler than oral temperature readings.
Temporal thermometers provide quick readings, within seconds and are easily administered and can be used on infants, children, and adults.
Some research indicates that temporal thermometers may be as accurate as rectal thermometers in children, and provide better readings than ear or armpit thermometers can but these findings aren’t conclusive and have been disputed in other studies.
Forehead thermometers must be positioned accurately and according to the manufacturer’s instructions, or they will not provide the right reading. Readings can also be affected by external factors, including drafts, wind, indoor heating, and direct sunlight. Wearing certain clothing, such as hats or heavy coats, can skew the results.
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