Humidifiers are devices that add moisture to the air. While too much humidity may make your hair frizzy, a good level of moisture in the air has a variety of benefits. They can help alleviate dry skin, cracked lips, headaches, congestion, nose irritations, a sore throat, and dry cough. The air tends to be the driest in winter, so many people add a humidifier in their homes to combat the symptoms.
Many parents choose to use a humidifier in their baby or toddler’s room, especially if they’re sick. While humidifiers are safe to use around young kids, they’re not all equal. Below, we review what to look for when shopping for a humidifier for your young child’s room.
Go With A Cool Mist Humidifier
There are different types of humidifiers on the market, but when you’re shopping for a young child, it’s best to stick to cool mist ones.
Babylist explains that warm mist humidifiers work by boiling the water to release it into the air. But steam and boiling water are hazards to young kids. Even if the humidifier is away from your child’s grasp, there’s still a chance it could fall over and cause an accident.
Err on the side of caution and choose one that emits a cool mist for your baby or toddler’s room. Regardless of the temperature of the mist, be sure to never place the humidifier straight in front of your child’s face. They should not be breathing in the mist directly.
Choose An Easy-To-Clean Model
Another thing to look for when shopping for a child’s humidifier is one that’s easy to clean. If not properly cared for, humidifiers can become a breeding ground for bacteria, mold, and particulate matter from chemicals used to clean the device, What to Expect warns.
Look for a model that has clear manufacturer guidelines for cleaning. In general, most models require a cleaning every 1 to 2 days. Also, look for a humidifier that can easily be disassembled for easy cleaning. Some models even allow you to put certain parts in the dishwasher.
Automatic Shut-Off Is A Must
You’re most often going to use the humidifier at night when your baby or toddler is sleeping. But this is why it’s important to look for a model with an automatic shut-off. This means the machine will shut off once the tank is out of water. Not only does this save electricity, but it’s less of a safety risk since electronics should be unplugged when they’re not being used.
Look For Anti-Mold Technology
Nowadays, there are more humidifier models coming onto the market with anti-mold technology. This extra layer of protection will reduce the chance that mold or bacteria may grow in your device.
Canopy explains that anti-mold technology in humidifiers uses a UV light embedded in the water tank to kill up to 99.9% of bacteria, allowing for cleaner air to be released from the device. An anti-mold feature doesn’t mean you don’t need to clean your child’s humidifier regularly, but it does make for a safer, cleaner environment.
Pay Attention To The Size
Size is important not only to preserve space in your child’s room. But the size of a humidifier directly influences how much water is released into the air. Too little moisture won’t impact, whereas too much can cause mold to grow.
The humidifier’s size should be proportionate to your baby’s room. Babylist notes that a half gallon tank is usually suitable for a room up to 250 square feet (the average size of a bedroom), while one-gallon tanks are best for 250 to 400 square feet. For rooms over 400 square feet, choose a humidifier with a tank bigger than a gallon.
Look For Child-Friendly Features
Finally, when choosing a humidifier for your baby or toddler, look for child-friendly features. Some humidifiers have built-in essential oil diffusers or will project images or lights onto the ceiling.
For instance, Vick’s recommends a humidifier that gives off a scent when shopping for young kids. The soothing scent can help them fall asleep faster, especially if the humidifier has a slight sound that can be distracting.
Certain essential oils can be beneficial to young children.
- Lemon is good for improving energy and mood
- While eucalyptus helps reduce congestion
- Lavender and mandarin are calming
- Tea tree oil is great for improving diaper rash and fungal infections
You should check with your child’s doctor before introducing essential oils into their daily routine in order to confirm age and dilution recommendations.
Additionally, it’s wise to speak to a healthcare professional for further information on using a humidifier around babies and toddlers. Be sure to follow all manufacturer guidelines for keeping the humidifier safe and clean.
Sources: Baby List, What to Expect, USA Today, Vick’s, Healthline, Canopy,