Exergen Temporal Artery Thermometer
There are so many things that I never realized I was going to need as a new parent. I guess I just assumed that we already had two people living in the house, what was the big deal about adding one more? Sure, baby would need a bed, a car seat and small collection of miscellaneous baby gear. But, one thing I absolutely never planned on was getting a new thermometer. Ours worked fine, right? When we started to feel sick, we could get the thermometer out and use the number for bragging rights, mostly.
Now fast forward a few short weeks…. It was the middle of the night and my newborn baby was wailing as if she was being tortured, which really wasn’t like her at all (I know, lucky). I went to kiss her forehead and realized she was really hot, so I raced through the house to find an arguably more scientific method of gauging temperature. I came back with a fist full of thermometers and began to take her temperature very methodically, trying each one using every means endorsed by the packaging and comparing the readings. Immediately I was concerned about the range of readings I was getting.
She was three degrees off from normal on one, and over 102 on two others. Yet another thermometer had her at a normal reading. After all the testing was done I was even more confused than before. Had she not been under 4 weeks, I might have given her Tylenol and snuggled her back to sleep, but I had read my literature. I knew that babies that young should be watched carefully when running temperatures that high. Having never really cared for an infant this young, I began to question if I was doing it right - did it stay in her mouth long enough? Was she wiggling when I took it under arm?
I finally caved and called her pediatrician, reaching the after hours help line and requesting a doctor call me back. He called back a few minutes later and we went over my findings. Did you do an oral reading? Yep, as best I could. Did you do an underarm? Yep, tried that, too. Did you do a rectal reading? Wait… a what?!? I hadn’t realized that people still took rectal readings, let alone were endorsed by medical professionals. I guess I had just thought it was a dated medical practice and not something I would ever have to do. The doctor talked me through it over the phone, and although traumatized permanently, I had the number for him.
But now I was even more confused since this number was much higher than the other thermometer readings were. I questioned why this one was so high, and the doctor explained that rectal readings have a different scale than oral or underarm. I checked the packages of all the thermometers and not one made this distinction clear. In fact, not one even mentioned a difference whatsoever. Seriously, there had to be a better way. I thought we supposed to have hover cars by now but this is still the most scientific method for gauging temperature?
The next morning I made a doctors appointment and took baby in, hoping to get a real scientific measurement of her fever. While there I asked what they would recommend for future nighttime scares. “Rectal”, they answered. They saw my look and followed it up with “or you could get a forehead scanner”. Wait a minute… a forehead scanner?!? A forehead scanner exists on the market yet I had to do a rectal reading the night before? Oh, the horror.
It turns out that forehead scanners not only exist, they are readily available. Temporal Artery Scanners are infrared thermometers that work by taking a noninvasive reading from the temporal artery (located on the temple, naturally). They are made by Exergen and available nationally at Wal-Mart, Babies R Us, Walgreens, Costco, and available at www.exergen.com I could tell you all about them in my non-existent medical background, or I can quote the manufacturer. I think the choice is easy and my feelings won’t be hurt if you prefer to read the following:
What is the Exergen TemporalScanner™?
The Exergen TemporalScanner™is the world’s first infrared thermometer designed to measure body temperature by taking a reading from the temporal artery. The patented technology employs an infrared sensor that accurately registers body temperature to within +0.2º F—a much more accurate means of taking the temperature than any other way including oral, rectal, axillary (under the arm) and tympanic (in the ear). It is also the least invasive method, depending upon a gentle sweep over a patient’s forehead.
What does the TemporalScanner™ measure?
The TemporalScanner captures naturally emitted heat from the skin over the temporal artery, taking 1,000 readings per second, and selecting the most accurate. With its patented Arterial Heat Balance system, the TemporalScanner measures ambient temperatures, mathematically replaces the small temperature loss from cooling at the skin, and displays an accurate arterial temperature.
Why is it more accurate than measuring ear temperature?
Ear thermometers are considered inaccurate by medical professionals because the positioning of the probe in the ear canal is inconsistent, thus creating varied readings that frequently result in missing fevers. The gentle scan across the forehead, reading the temporal artery, is more accurate and comfortable for the user. A Harvard Medical School study has proven that the TemporalScanner is more accurate than ear thermometers.
All of this makes it perfect for babies, active toddlers, kids and more. I’m sure you see why hospitals all over the country are using this same technology. It’s quick (less than 2 seconds) and it’s easy (a press of a button and a quick scan of the forehead and temple – no need to turn off!) and it’s affordable ($39.99 to $49.99 at select stores) and it works for all ages. It’s not a hover car, but while they work on those, we can all enjoy the peace of mind that comes from having a reliable, easy and accurate thermometer.
Random Rave: Know what’s even better than being able to take a quick and easy scan of a baby that doesn’t feel well? Being able to take a quick and easy scan of a baby while they are sleeping. Seriously, no need to wake a sick baby means that everyone gets more sleep. I was also thrilled to find that the Exergen Temporal Scanner comes with a fabulous User Guide that gives tips and tricks for taking temperatures, and even gives specific criteria for evaluating your readings. Clearly, someone was thinking. You can also read the User Guide Here.
See stockists at http://www.exergen.com/medical/TAT/tatconsumerpage.htm
Price: $39.99 to $49.99 at select stores
Looks: Hi-techy with a little Star Trekky, and baby’s new favorite toy.
Overall: Second to a hover car, far superior to traditional thermometers.
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