Infrared thermometers. Are they safe?

A couple months ago I posted about our new, touchless, infrared thermometer from FORA. It is a medical grade non-contact thermometer- and it is my favorite + highly trusted thermometer. It has an extremely high accuracy rating when used as directed, which I of course had to test out myself.

Shortly after I aimed this thermometer at mine and my children’s head several times (to make sure it lived up to its high accuracy hype) I was told that this may not be a safe way to measure our temperatures, and can cause damage to the pineal gland. Umm… Yikes! So I immediately went to researching to uncover the truth.

First- what is the pineal gland and where is it located?

The pineal gland is a tiny little gland deep in our brains and is often referred to as our “third eye”. Physically it serves as our synthesizer of serotonin and producer of melatonin, regulating our sleep-wake cycles and supporting other functions of our endocrine system. Spiritually it serves as our connection to light and has been called “the seat of our soul” (namaste).

Worthy of noting is that the pineal gland is the least studied organ of the endocrine system- so I am sure its function is much greater than we know.

All of this sounds important though, right? We clearly do not want to damage our pineal gland. Especially our babies pineal glands in their ever- developing brains. **This is another reason I use fluoride free toothpaste and filter fluoride from our water- over exposure can cause calcification of the pineal gland, especially in kids.**

Back to the thermometer. I searched everywhere online and learned all that I could on this topic to make sure I was not harming mine or anyone else kids by using + recommending this. This is what I found:

Non-contact, medical grade, infrared thermometers do NOT cause damage to the pineal gland! They do not negatively affect our health in any way. These thermometers work by reading the infrared heat emitted FROM your body. They do not radiate any infrared heat ON TO your body. Phew! There are industrial infrared thermometers that point a laser at the object of which temperature it is taking, and you would not want someone pointing that laser at your eyes/forehead, but we are talking about two different types of thermometers here. My thermometer from FORA does not emit any kind of laser or light when I push the read button to measure a temperature. To my understanding, there are no medical grade infrared thermometers that do.

I think this article from the American Academy of Pediatrics is a good resource on this topic.

As I heard from many friends on social media regarding this topic, a lot of them said they check their Childs temperature on the inside of their wrist to avoid the pineal gland. I just want to make a note that temperatures need to be taken on a central location on the body in order to truly be accurate. During a fever your body may restrict blood flow to your limbs as it sends blood to the most critical of places- your organs. In general a temperature on your wrist will measure 1 degree lower than one taken on your forehead. But during a fever this difference may be even greater. I recommend checking temperatures on the forehead to get the most accurate information (if using a non-contact thermometer).

For information on fevers, what they mean and how to best manage them at home, read this post HERE.

Since clearing this up for myself and now you, I reached back out to FORA to verify what I found and asked for another discount code for my online family šŸ™‚ Now that you can rest assured these kind of thermometers are safe, I thought you might want to take advantage of the discount! You can buy the thermometer HERE using the discount code “FORAXTERAH” for 15% off your purchase from now until 11/30/20. Officially a #FORAcarepartner!

I mentioned above that this thermometer is extremely accurate when used correctly. Correct = holding it 1.18 to 2.75 inches away from the forehead to get a read. If you are too close it will read high and if you are too far away it will read low. My favorite part about this thermometer is that its touch-less and quiet. Need to check your babies temperature while they are asleep? No problem, it will also give you a read in 1 second so can get out fast (parents are ninjas in disguise am I right?). Other features I like are that it has a baby mode for children less than 3, holds memory of your last 30 temperature checks, and can be used for checking the surface temperature of things like a baby bottle. Sweet!

The following is an example of what NOT to do…. bonk the thermometer against your patient’s (childs, husbands) forehead really hard to measure their temperature, HAHA- sorry daddy!

Thanks for reading this my friends, I hope you enjoyed learning about the pineal gland and can now feel reassured that all these temperature checks we are required to get (pandemic things) are not harming you or your children.

Sending you all my love!

xo, Terah

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