Exergen Temporal Artery Scanner Thermometer Review

I recently wrote about fever in infants. This is something I’ve had much experience with as a mother of two. I also know how tedious a task it can be attempting to check a baby’s temperature as much as they wriggle and squirm. I’ve tried numerous types of thermometers and some of the digital ones can take as long as 3 minutes to give you results. That’s just not ideal which is why I find the temporal artery scanners much better.

Different Types of Thermometers

There are several different varieties available in thermometers. While you have your traditional digital thermometers there are different types now that make taking temperature on an infant or child much easier. It’s always good to have a reliable thermometer you can use as back up even if it does take ages to get a reading. The most accurate method of taking your baby’s temperature is rectally. Here are some of the options available in thermometers.

Digital Thermometer
Amazon Image
These are typically the least expensive and most versatile thermometers around. You can check your baby or your child’s temp orally, under the arm, or rectally with a digital thermometer. They are pretty simple to use and safe for babies and children.


Tympanic Thermometers
Amazon Image A tympanic thermometer is one you use in the ear to read temperature. They are commonly used by physicians, primarily pediatricians, as an easy way to check temperatures on infants and children who can’t keep still. Used with probe covers they are also very hygienic.


Temporal Artery Thermometer
Amazon Image These are one of the easiest ways to check your child’s temperature and are also commonly used in clinics and hospitals. Most are really simple to use with a simple stroke across the child’s forehead along the temporal artery.


Pacifier Thermometer
Amazon ImageThese are digital thermometers made in the form of a pacifier and are ideal for babies and young children. These are great for some parents although in order to get an accurate reading the child must keep it in their mouth for up 5 minutes and are not recommended for newborns under 3 months.

Among these varieties my favorite is the temporal artery thermometer for several reasons. Under the arm is not the most accurate area to check a child’s temperature and with my toddler she doesn’t keep still long enough for digital thermometers to get a reliable reading. A tympanic thermometer, though easy, is also not the most reliable as ear wax build up can interfere with the reading. You also have to be sure they are positioned correctly to get an accurate reading so they can be a little challenging on babies with smaller ear canals. My mother had one of these to use if the kids got sick while staying over and it was a pain to get a good reading. Neither of my children took a pacifier so that wasn’t an ideal choice for me and the problem with taking oral temperatures is that if your child recently ate or drank anything it can affect the reading.

Exergen Temporal Artery Scanner

ThermometerThe thing with temporal artery thermometers is that they are found to be more accurate than tympanic and easy to use on infants and children (although they are still not recommended for newborns) We bought an Exergen Temporal Artery Scanner and I love it for so many reasons. It is the preferred choice that our pediatrician uses and it just makes sense as a reliable method; after all, what is the first place you check for a fever? The forehead! And when it comes to something as important as checking a fever I want something I can trust and rely on for accuracy.

  • Fast scan
  • Easy to Use
  • Can be used on kids while sleeping
  • Not versatile
  • It’s not accurate after a bath
  • Doesn’t come with a case or cover
I love how fast and easy it was to use this thermometer compared to our digital thermometers. You don’t have to wait listening for the beep that indicates it’s done. The temporal scanner picks up over 1,000 readings per second as you swipe it over the temporal artery to determine the most accurate reading. It really is as simple as a push of a button. It is important, however to read the instructions that come with it. As a medical assistant I know how to properly place and position the thermometer on my child’s head. When my husband first used it he didn’t get consistent readings because he wasn’t doing it properly.
Because the temporal scanner uses the heat given off by the skin from the temporal artery it’s important that you position it correctly on the forehead and slide across in an even motion to the temple and just at the ear. If you glide all across the forehead you will get an inaccurate reading. It may take some practice for those who have never used one before but once you know how to use it it’s really quite simple and well worth it.

Other factors that can affect accuracy is if the child’s forehead is wet such as after a bath or sweating. If this is the case pat the head dry with a towel lightly then glide the thermometer across the head and behind the ear then release the button. Also it is not versatile like a digital that allows you to check temperature by way of an alternate method. With a digital if your child recently ate or drank making an oral temperature not possible right away you can always check it under the arm or rectally.

I also wish it came with a case or a cover for the head because smudges or dirt on the lens of the scanner can interfere with its accuracy as well. What is nice is that it has an antimicrobial head that naturally eliminates bacteria so it’s hygienic and safe for use by multiple members of the family without the need for probe covers.

Another key factor that makes this thermometer convenient is that you can even use it on your sleeping child without disturbing them. You just have to be sure you don’t use it on the side they’ve been lying on. One of the biggest reasons I preferred the temporal as opposed to the tympanic is that it is non-invasive and comfortable for my kids. Just try taking the temperature of a baby with an ear infection using a tympanic thermometer!

To see how others weighed in on this thermometer here are a few snippets from reviews by moms who have used one of these:
“I’m an ER nurse and we use temporal artery thermometers in our ER. They are much more accurate”
“The Exergen has to be the best baby product invented. The only complaint is that there is no backlight (in the dark) you have to move to a lit area to read the result.”
“The readings I get usually agree with the tympanic thermometer.”

These reviews have been paraphrased for your convenience. To read the entire reviews along with others check them out here.

Each time I’ve used my thermometer I’ve had consistent results, although I have worked in a doctor’s office before too so I have some prior knowledge. I would recommend trying it out a few times on a family member who is not ill when buying one just to see if your readings are consistent. A rule of thumb is if you’re getting results that vary in range then you’re likely not using it correctly.

Despite the fact that it may take practice to get accustomed to taking a reliable temperature I still highly recommend this product. It is well worth it and you may be able to get a discount on it. Many pediatricians have pamphlets or brochures for the Exergen which contain a mail-in rebate so be sure to ask.

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