Last month, The American College of Sports Medicine published a study that said infrared thermometers are no danged good when it comes to measuring the internal temps of athletes broiling beneath the two-a-days sun. The study was conducted by docs at the Institute for Exercise and Environmental Medicine at Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas, where they discovered that a highly touted and commonly used forehead scanner made by Exergen wasn't nearly as accurate as a rectal thermometer -- despite Exergen's claims to the contrary.
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Today, The New York Times picks up on the report -- appropriate, as now's about the time when college and high school football players are strapping on the pads and bracing for 100-plus-degree days during which their core temps can reach as high as 104 degrees, when heatstroke becomes a very real possibility. Problem is, says the study, the infrared thermometers will tell you a jock reading 104 on a rectal thermometer is only at 100. Reports The Times: "Dr. Benjamin D. Levine, a physician who took part in the Dallas test, said the scanner should not be used in any setting, even though 30 percent of Texas hospitals now use it or a similar device." In other words, football men, take this thermometer and stick it up your ass -- only because we care. --Robert Wilonsky