Exergen Temporal Artery Thermometer

I like the Exergen TemporalScanner because with a gentle stroke of the forehead, I can get a person’s temperatureaccurately and almost instantly — without having to stick something in their ear, mouth, or any other orifice. I can even check a child’s temperature while they sleep. It’s very easy to use — but do read the instructions to get the right swipe motion.

The device takes 1,000 readings per second, selects the most accurate among them, and adjusts for room temperature to give you the temperature of the temporal artery (near the temple) — which is an earlier signal of disease than rectal temperature. This temporal artery thermometer is more accurate than ear thermometers and is less affected by the sources of error that can make oral or underarm temperatures misleading. (However, for many purposes, temperature precision isn’t that important. Just knowing whether there is a fever or not is far more important than knowing the temp within a few tenths of a degree. And often fever is helpful, anyway.) But accurate thermometer readings can bring great peace of mind.

I use one of these at our home and carry one with me everywhere in my pediatrician doctor’s bag. -- Alan Greene, MD

Exergen Temporal Artery Thermometer $31


  1. I have this thermometer and love it too. The one thing that would make it better is a light up screen imo. Sure you can take your kids temp while their sleeping but you have to turn on some kind of a light to do it. 

  2. I got this a couple months ago for our infant. Works well and, because I’m a nerd, seems in agreement with her rectal temperature reading when I’ve done both at the same time.

    A lot of the negative reviews for this thermometer have to do with kids that are sweating profusely or need super accurate temperature readings because of a chronic condition. It might not be the best thermometer for every situation, but it works well in the common case.

  3. Too bad that this probably doesn’t work on haired skin – something less invasive than a rectal thermometer would be great for veterinarians.

    1. I read “vegetarians” there, and wondered for a moment if the average vegetarian was hairier around the temples than other people…

    1. Really.  I realize that “temporal” can be used for anatomy, but the radio commercials for “temporal thermometers” always sound like they should be throwing in a “sonic screwdriver” as a bonus item.

  4. I have this thermometer, too. I don’t have the instructions anymore, but I believe you can also use it right behind the ear if the forehead is too sweaty. I wouldn’t say the readings are the most consistent, but it’s easy to use and my daughter doesn’t fight having her temperature taken with it like she did with every other thermometer we tried.

  5. We purchased one of these when our daughter was born (and later used it starting at about age 6mo. or so), and found the readings to be neither consistent nor accurate.  I often found that the temperature difference between readings would be as much as a few degrees (ok. it says her temp is 98.4, now it’s saying that it’s 101.3? WTF).  Confirmed inaccuracy against a couple of other “traditional” thermometers we have in house.  Our readings were not on sweaty skin etc… either.  Also, if it’s relevant, both my wife and I are veterinarians, so hopefully the issue is actually with the equipment, and not an inability to follow directions and use medical equipment properly.
    We may have been unlucky enough to have bought the rare “bum” one (no pun intended), but we have been thoroughly unimpressed.  

  6. “The device takes 1,000 readings per second, selects the most accurate among them”
    And how, exactly, does it tell which ‘one’ is the most accurate? More likely it takes 1000 wildly varying answers and takes the average in a desperate attempt to reach something that could be considered vaguely representative.

  7. This is a great thermometer.  The key to using it is to take the temperature three times, and use the highest of the three readings.  I think that, because it’s basically an IR sensor, it can’t really measure higher than the correct temperature, but it may miss the artery and measure lower than the correct temp.  Multiple scans increase your chances of measuring the artery, as opposed to the skin around it.  I have had really good results using it this way, although the varying readings took a little getting used to.

    Also, totally agree with the commenter above that a backlight would make this perfect.

    google “ER nurse who loves temporal artery thermometers” to see the amazon review with these instructions.

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