You may have started to see automatic body temperature scanners implemented across businesses and other locations across the country. Temperature monitoring helps protect individuals gathered inside public buildings. While not all cases of illness or COVID-19 show the symptom of a fever, detecting elevated temperatures before people enter a building is an easy safety measure to implement.
The education system is one area of public life that has the country's attention. While some universities and schools are fully remote, others have opted for hybrid or entirely in-person classes. This choice requires extra steps to protect the safety of students, teachers, and administrators.
Most K-12 schools have distanced desks in classrooms and required masks, and some have staggered the days on which students attend classes. The next measure you can take as an administrator is to implement automatic body temperature scanning. Through not a fail-proof method, temperature monitoring can help give you peace of mind and allow students to focus on their studies. Since this is a new technology, let's walk through some best practices.
1. Set the Temperature Scanner at the Appropriate Height
An individual's face must be visible on the screen for a thermal scanner to properly assess their temperature. For elementary schools, this can be a difficult task, especially if they have an on-site preschool. In this environment, student ages range from 3 to 11, and student heights might range from 3 feet to 5 feet. However, at any school, you also have teachers and administrators to account for, which increases the height maximum to 6 or more feet.
So, what's the solution? Option one is to set the body temperature scanner at a height appropriate for a taller student and adjust for others. A step stool with guardrails would help protect students' safety and allow them to reach the temperature scanner. Another idea is to have two to three temperature scanners at your entrance with different heights. This way, a student can walk to the temperature scanner that most closely matches their height and receive a check.
We visited a local elementary school to perform a trial with the BioScan temperature scanner. These pictures are used with permission.
2. Place a Familiar Face Next to the Unfamiliar Technology
Temperature scanning technology is new to the market with the advent of COVID-19, and it's a novel experience for students and teachers alike. Alleviate the uncertainty by placing a well-known teacher or administrator by the device. As students walk through the doors, this trusted individual can direct them to use the temperature scanner properly.
This individual can also direct students on how to stand. The distance at which you attempt to get a temperature reading matters. One foot away is too close, and five feet away is too far. For the Bioscan temperature scanner, we recommend a distance of three feet.
3. Remove Anything That Blocks the Face
While temperature scanning technology is quite intelligent, it doesn't have X-ray vision (yet.) The device assesses an individual's temperature by identifying the forehead skin temperature. Thus if a student has a hood on or even glasses, the scanner might not be able to do its job. As students come into school in the morning, ask them to remove hoods, glasses, and snow caps before getting their temperature scanned.
4. Get Ready for Lots of Smiles
The BioScan temperature scanner and similar devices offer a screen in which individuals can see their face. Warning: You may have students and teachers that smile at themselves! You can gently clarify that the scanner doesn't take a picture.
While it's natural to be curious about new technology and our reflections, looking at your face in the scanner isn't the best scanning method. Ideally, encourage students to look at the sensor for an expedient temperature reading. You may consider placing a doll or toy by the scanner sensor to direct the gaze of younger children.
5. Accept the Learning Curve
Last but not least, encourage students, teachers, and administrators alike to embrace the learning curve. Body temperature scanners are a new addition to the school experience, and it will take time for them to become a part of the daily routine. Be patient and help each other learn, just like during the school day.
To successfully implement a temperature monitor into your school day, remember the best practices that we covered today: Remove blocks around the face, Allow three feet of distance, Choose the right height, and Kindly look at the sensor. RACK, if you'd like an acronym for your students.