The world certainly has changed recently. There was once a time where you would think it odd that a doctor’s office would want to check your temperature before you coming in, but that is in the past now. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if a friend asked to take my temperature before entering her house now. Luckily, thermometers have come quite a long way in the past few decades and now you can have a contactless thermometer like the iHealth No Touch Forehead Thermometer, which makes it easier than ever to take temperatures at any time.
But some people wonder whether forehead thermometers are as accurate as the classic thermometers that we remember using as kids. So are contactless thermometers just as good? Read on to find out how these work, why people assume they are inaccurate, and what iHealth does to combat these issues with contactless thermometers.
You might wonder, initially, why you would care to have a contactless thermometer, but they do come in handy, even for home use. Have you ever had a child sick and just prayed that the other family members didn’t get the same thing? Well, you might have a little better luck with the contactless thermometer in reducing the spread of germs.
If you have one child who is sick and another who might be sick, you don’t have to wash the thermometer between each use. You can simply keep an eye on both children’s temperatures throughout the day without having to constantly wash and rewash the thermometer.
This can be especially helpful now, during a pandemic, where you are constantly checking people’s temperature before school or before going to any public area. This thermometer is really helpful for schools or daycares as well.
The iHealth No Touch Forehead Thermometer has a super quick reading of 1 second. This is amazing! The Frida Quick Read Digital Rectal thermometer that I wrote a review of here, has a 10-second read, and that is considered quick. Compared to that, the iHealth thermometer is operating at warp speed.
Though your child may not resist this temperature reading like they would a rectal thermometer, it is so convenient to have a one-second read. You don’t have to worry about keeping your child still for very long, which is important when you have an active toddler.
Have you ever tried to sneak into your child’s room when they are sick to check a temperature? Sneaking in and out of a baby’s room at any time can be difficult. They sleep so deeply unless they hear a creak of a floorboard–then it’s all over. The iHealth No Touch Forehead Thermometer is by far the easiest thermometer for nighttime temperature readings.
It won’t come into contact with your child’s head or body at all, and it is backlit so that you can read it in the dark. The light is just light enough that you can read it, but not so bright that it would wake your baby.
Speaking of nighttime temperature readings, the iHealth No Touch Forehead Thermometer has one of my absolute favorite features in a thermometer. Most thermometers will beep to indicate that it has a reading that is ready to view. Not this thermometer. Instead of that beeping, which let’s be honest, all parents hate because it wakes up your baby, this thermometer vibrates.
This is a genius move and all parents will applaud you.
How Do They Work?
A no-contact thermometer sounds like magic, in my opinion. How can that even work? Well, it is actually pretty cool technology.
There are two different kinds of no-contact thermometers; temporal thermometers and tympanic thermometers. They both use infrared scanners to read the temperature of arteries. This does mean that they have to be in the right position to get this kind of reading, so you will need to consult the manual that comes with it before you start trying to measure accurate temperatures.
Now, if you read my reviews of the Frida Baby Quick Read Digital Rectal Thermometer and the Frida Baby True Temp, then you know that according to the AAP, rectal readings are the most accurate temperatures for babies 3 and under, shortly followed by oral readings. So what does that mean for no-touch forehead temperatures?
Causes for Inaccuracies
According to the Mayo Clinic, “This type of thermometer may be less accurate than other types. Direct sunlight, cold temperatures, or a sweaty forehead can affect temperature readings. Variations on user technique, such as holding the scanner too far away from the forehead, also may affect accuracy.”
If you are using this type of thermometer in your home, you probably don’t have to worry too much about direct sunlight or cold temperatures, since your child will likely be sick in a comfortable room. However, sweaty foreheads are always an issue with children who have high fevers, so that is something to consider.
How iHealth Compensates
If your child has been out in the cold or in hot weather conditions, the iHealth No Touch Forehead Thermometer is built to collect over 100 points of data per second while it is measuring your child’s temperature. This ensures that the thermometer can decipher the difference between the environment temperature and your child’s actual temperature.
User error is also something that the Mayo Clinic mentioned above as being an issue with inaccurate readings. One nice thing about the iHealth No Touch Forehead thermometer is that it has a distance sensor. It will only work if you position the sensor within 1.18 inches away from the center of the forehead.
There is also a detailed manual that comes with the thermometer. This educates all the users in measuring temperatures correctly.
Who Should Use Them?
Many businesses, schools, and healthcare settings are currently checking temperatures for everyone who comes in. For this, a no-contact thermometer is ideal, since you won’t spread germs.
This is also a convenient option for home use. Often, little children don’t typically like to use basic contact thermometers. However, rectal thermometers like the Frida Baby rectal thermometer I reviewed, are still considered the gold standard for accurate readings for children under 3 years old. In all honesty, the iHealth No Touch Forehead Thermometer is so incredibly easy to use, it would be useful to have one on hand. Babies have so many fevers, and it is just nice to be able to keep an eye on their progression. This thermometer eliminates having to hold your child down and have a traumatic experience.
However, for high fevers, where it really matters how accurate the readings are, I would still have a rectal thermometer on hand. They are so affordable that it makes sense to have both on hand for convenience and accuracy.
Overall, the iHealth No Touch Forehead Thermometer is a great device. There are many people who swear by them. They really are an invaluable tool especially when you are taking a lot of temperatures. If you take temperatures in a public setting, this is without question the right thermometer for you. If you mostly take temperatures in your home with your baby, then it might be a good idea to have this and a basic thermometer as well. And since this is a baby site, this is likely the demographic that you fall into.
When it comes to temperature readings for curiosity’s sake or during the night, this is without a doubt one of the best thermometers to have. It is so unintrusive and your baby will likely not be bothered at all when you take a reading. You could take their temperature every hour on the hour and they wouldn’t care.