WATERTOWN, MA, March 22, 2012– The vast majority of Americans – nearly 90 percent – are unaware of what type of thermometer is the most accurate, according to a survey from Harris Interactive.  While oral thermometers are the most commonly used form (65 percent), nearly two thirds of people who use them do not consider them the most accurate.

“People need to be educated when selecting the right thermometer.  Several factors should be considered when evaluating the effectiveness of each,”says Mary Pappas, the New York school nurse credited with first alerting officials about the H1N1 outbreak in 2009. “The most important consideration is accuracy.” Pappas, who has used a variety of thermometers and encountered many inconsistent temperature readings, now uses an Exergen temporal artery thermometer because of its proven accuracy and ease-of-use; sheoffers viewpoints on thermometer options below:

Rectal thermometers are known as the “gold standard” of thermometry.  This method presents themost accurate temperature reading but can be uncomfortable and mainly used with infants.  Discomfort may increase as children get older.

Temporal Artery
One of the latest developments in thermometry is the temporal artery thermometer.  The infrared thermometer gauges body temperature by capturing the naturally emitted heat from skin over the temporal artery with a swipe of the forehead.  This noninvasive form has proven to deliver the most accurate readings and is used in half of the nation’s hospitals and pediatrician offices.

Oral thermometers are very common in households. This method is more time consuming and accuracy can be compromised if not placed properly under the tongue.Many times, people who recently drank fluids will have an inaccurate reading.

Tympanic (Ear)
Tympanic thermometers provide more accurate readings than oral methods.  However, proper placement is crucial. Ear thermometers can add discomfort in younger children and may be ineffective because their ear canals aren’t fully developed.

Survey Methodology

This surveywas conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of Exergen by telephone within the United States between October 26 – 30, 2011 among a nationwide cross section of 1,007 adults (aged 18 and over). For a full methodology, please contact Jill Gress of Harris Interactive at 585.214.7138.