As a parent, each decision you make about your baby’s room or nursery is significant. Many parents discover that indoor air quality is an important topic while researching. Rooms with dry air can make children more susceptible to ailments such as dry skin, viruses, or stuffy noses. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), using a humidifier within the home can help alleviate negative symptoms in babies and children. But what details are essential to know before setting up this device?
What is a Humidifier?
A humidifier is an appliance designed to increase the moisture level within a room. The purpose of a humidifier is to prevent dryness that may irritate various parts of the body. Humidifiers raise moisture levels by releasing vapor or steam into the surrounding area. There are two categories of humidifiers: point-of-use humidifiers and whole-home humidifiers. Point-of-use humidifiers boost moisture in a single room. Whole-home humidifiers can be integrated into your current HVAC system to increase humidity in the entire household.
How Do Humidifiers Help Babies?
Humidifiers push vapor or steam into the surrounding environment, increasing relative humidity and moisture content. This additional moisture can help babies prone to upper-respiratory dryness. Some families also use humidifiers during dry winter or summer months, and the devices are also helpful in regions where the air is dry all year. According to the Mayo Clinic, humidifiers may help alleviate irritation in the smaller nasal passages of children. The moisture keeps the nasal cavity adequately moist and makes mucus less sticky. Breathing easier may also help babies sleep better through the night, a welcome benefit for most parents.
Where Should You Place a Portable Hummidifier?
Experts recommend placing a stand-alone humidifier in a central location within your baby’s room. The device should have plenty of space clearance to enable moisture to disperse freely. Place the appliance on a flat surface to prevent instability or leakage. In addition, the device needs to be at least a foot away from walls to avoid excess moisture accumulation on their surfaces.
Alternatively, a HVAC professional can install a whole-house humidifier directly into your heating and cooling system. A whole-home humidifier can increase moisture levels in your home and improve air quality. More advanced models can monitor humidity levels, much like the household thermostat monitors temperature. Instead of worrying about the logistics of a portable humidifier, you can use a whole-home system to maintain consistent moisture levels within each room of your house.
How Close Should a Portable Humidifier be to the Baby?
If you have decided a portable humidifier should go into your baby’s room, another common consideration is how close the humidifier can be to the infant. You should never place the appliance so close to your child that moisture could accumulate on your crib or blankets. This excess moisture could create a breeding ground for mold, mildew, and other contaminants.
In addition, Most experts recommend putting the humidifier at least three to four away from your child’s sleeping area. The humidifier should remain well away from a child’s ability to pull the cord. Even if your baby is not crawling or walking yet, the appliance should remain safely inaccessible to prevent inquisitive infants from knocking it over.
What are Some Other Benefits of Humidifiers for Babies?
Pediatricians recommend using humidifiers to help fight congestion. Moist air may also reduce nosebleeds caused by dry air. If a child already has a cold, humidifiers can help counteract irritation in the throat from coughing. Many specialists recommend whole-home humidifiers for families with children with asthma, so you should talk to an HVAC technician about having one installed if this is the case.
In addition to alleviating dryness within the nose and throat, a humidifier can also help relieve dry skin. According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), eczema affects up to 25% of children. While a humidifier does not cure eczema, it can help relieve irritation. Children with psoriasis or other skin conditions can also benefit from humidifiers.
Contact the Professionals
At IBBOTSON Heating & Air Conditioning Co., we have been serving the residents of Arlington Heights, IL since 1946. We install, maintain, and repair heating and cooling systems. Additionally, we are indoor air quality experts and can install a whole-home humidifier in your house.
Contact IBBOTSON Heating & Air Conditioning Co. today if you have questions about how a whole-home humidifier can benefit your family.