Pros and Cons of a Humidifier for a Baby: A Real Assessment of Use
Each parent would like to know where the child has a button that turns off his snot, allergies and all kinds of acute respiratory infections. And imagine, there is such a button. It only works intermittently and does not always guarantee a complete shutdown of the disease. This button is the relative humidity in the room.
To normalize it, install special devices - humidifiers. But these devices are not a universal lifesaver and have certain disadvantages. In the article we will talk about the main pros and cons of a humidifier for a child and give some tips on how to reduce the negative impact of this device.
The content of the article:
- The effect of low humidity on the baby
- Normal humidity in the apartment
- The benefits of a humidifier for children
- Damage from humidifier
- How to reduce the negative effects of a humidifier
- Conclusions and useful video on the topic
The effect of low humidity on the baby
You can not look at the child as an adult in miniature. Both infants, kindergarteners, and even adolescents have several thermoregulation mechanisms that are different from adults. Initially, they need more humidified air. Low humidity in the room creates a strong load on the children's body and leads to serious malfunctions in its work.
It is completely contraindicated for infants to be in a dry climate, because they receive the bulk of the oxygen up to a year through the skin. It is noticed that in a room with dry air in infants milk is absorbed worse, dysbiosis appears and tics can occur.
If the baby has blue lips and a nasolabial triangle, this indicates severe hypoxia (oxygen starvation). In this case, you need to not only ventilate the room well, but also increase the relative humidity in the room.
The drier the air in the room, the more fluid the child’s body spends to hydrate it to the desired parameters, therefore humidity standards must comply with sanitary and epidemiological requirements.
Due to additional water losses, the mucous membrane dries, skin problems begin, and immunity falls, i.e. the child’s body can no longer fully protect itself from the effects of pathogenic microorganisms. Too much air in the room can lead to problems with sleep and kidney disease.
No immunostimulants, vitamins and flu shots will help the child if he sits every day in a room with dry air. The child will still get sick, because due to a lack of water in the body, his resistance to bacteria decreases. If at the same time he does not receive a plentiful drink, the diseases will be protracted and will soon develop into chronic ones.
All kinds of gaseous compounds constantly accumulate in the air of the enclosed space: gases from cooking, polymer fumes from the decoration of the room, human waste products, etc.
Children who regularly breathe dry air suffer from various infectious diseases more often than their peers. If the humidity in the room has dropped to 20%, a small child may even receive heat stroke.
Normal humidity in the apartment
Relative humidity is the amount of moisture in the air as a percentage of the maximum possible. This parameter is invariably associated with the indoor microclimate.
Normal humidity in the room - This is a guarantee of safety for the health and well-being of a person of any age. Comfortable can be considered humidity in the room about 40-70%. Low humidity leads to the accumulation of dust on furniture and appliances, exacerbation of allergies and an increase in susceptibility to various viruses and bacteria.
Even a couple of decades ago, people tried to increase the humidity in the children's room with daily wet cleaning, arranging water containers and regular ventilation.
But standard cleaning (both general and daily) cannot provide a normal level of humidity in the apartment. Very little time passes, and dry air accumulates in the room again.
But all folk remedies fade against the background of the use of an ordinary household air humidifier. This device is capable of creating a comfortable indoor microclimate in a short time.
All humidifiers can be divided into:
- Traditional - devices whose operating principle is based on natural (natural) evaporation of moisture. They consume little power and are ideal for aromatherapy.
- Steam - devices operating on the principle of evaporation. With their help, you can quickly achieve the desired moisture content.
- Ultrasonic - Modern silent units that allow you to set the desired level of moisture. Ultrasonic devices Ergonomic, compact and easy to operate.
When used properly, these humidifiers do not have any negative effects on children. Regardless of model humidifiers It is worth using both in the summer, and in the winter. In winter, the air in the room dries up due to batteries, and in summer the moisture in it evaporates due to the air conditioners turned on.
The benefits of a humidifier for children
Humidifiers are able to optimize the processes of thermoregulation of the child during sleep and wakefulness. In a room with humidified air, a person feels sleepy and awake.Humidifiers are able to positively affect the condition of the skin, hair and nails of a person.
A comfortable indoor microclimate helps to cope with acne, teen acne and other irritations on the face. Also, a humidifier favors the narrowing of pores on the face and soothes the skin after tanning.
Use of a humidifier is necessary during outbreaks of acute respiratory infections and flu. The dirty and dry air in the room can lead to the development of rhinitis, bronchitis and even asthma in a child if any bacteria enter the child’s body.
The dried air in the room leads to drying out of the mucus, which usually removes various pathogenic microorganisms from organs and tissues. Because of this, the risk of complications increases. Even a commonplace ARI can develop into pneumonia or meningitis.
A humidifier makes microparticles of dirt, dust, animal hair and pollen heavier, preventing them from rising. And steam aggregates completely destroy harmful bacteria. Due to this, the child has a reduced risk of allergic reactions. In addition, he improves sleep quality.
In a stuffy room a child is often tormented by nightmares, and because of this, he screams at night and even pees in bed (we are talking about kindergarteners and junior high school students).
If the room has a normal microclimate, such problems will disappear. The kid will be able to wake up without problems at night and independently goes to the toilet. In fact, a humidifier helps to cope with nocturnal enuresis.
Also, the advantages of using a humidifier are:
- the elimination of unpleasant odors in the room (due to the fact that all particles that may smell bad fall down together with the moisture that binds them);
- improving blood circulation in the brain (due to this, the child’s attentiveness and academic performance at school will increase);
- strengthening immunity;
- elimination of edema and dark circles under the eyes;
- prevention of eye problems (due to dehydration of the body, conjunctivitis or other inflammatory eye diseases may begin).
But it is important to remember that a humidifier is not a magical tool that cleans the room of dirt in one fell swoop. The device acts only on air humidity, it does not absorb and does not destroy viruses with microbes.
In the apartment you still need to clean, wipe the dust, evaporate the curtains, clean the sofas and vacuum the carpets. You should also air the room daily.
However, during operation of the humidifier, it is better not to open the window, so as not to negate its beneficial properties. After all, with open windows and windows, the humidity indicators in the room immediately begin to fall.
Damage from humidifier
A humidifier is a unique and extremely simple device that allows many to forget about allergies and respiratory diseases, but even manage to find negative features in it. The nature of the negative effects of the humidifier on the human body depends on the design features of the device.
Negative effects of traditional humidifiers
The safest units are traditional humidifiers. They do not emit hot steam, and with the timely replacement of filter cartridges are practically harmless.
Their main disadvantage is the loud noise during operation. This noise can prevent children from concentrating on playing or studying. Due to constant extraneous sounds, the child may become nervous, short-tempered, or crying.
To eliminate this negative effect humidifier work on the children's nervous system, you need to turn on the humidifier only when the child is not in the room. In this case, by his arrival the room will have a normal microclimate, but any irritating factors will disappear.
What is harmful steam humidifier
Using a steam humidifier is fraught with the fact that a child may get a thermal burn with hot steam leaving the device. To avoid this, the device should be installed in a hard-to-reach place (on a cabinet or behind a fence) or use an ultrasonic humidifier that does not emit steam.
Also, steam humidifiers, in which there is no built-in hygrostat, can lead to increased humidity in the room, and this, in turn, can provoke a sore throat.
But the occurrence of tonsillitis or tonsillitis becomes possible only if the relative humidity in the room rises to 80%. Only then, due to an excess of moisture in the air, mucus begins to accumulate in the lungs and bronchi, forming a favorable environment for the reproduction of bacteria.
However, achieving this level of humidity is extremely difficult. In the cold season, due to actively working batteries, the humidity indicator rarely rises above 35% (usually lower). Those. even the most powerful humidifier will not be able to raise this value to 80%.
The dangers of using an ultrasonic humidifier
In ultrasonic humidifiers, filters periodically break down that hold various impurities of minerals in the water. Because of this, a thin layer of white salt coating may appear on furniture and appliances. The same coating appears when using an ultrasonic humidifier without a filter.
The mineral salts deposited in the room become an excellent medium for the growth of bacteria. Moreover, these salts not only settle on interior items, microscopic particles of minerals are also found in the air, which is inhaled by all those who are in the room.
But this problem can be solved if you use distilled water sold in stores or purified water in household filters for the humidifier. Do not pour tap water into the humidifier.
Some people are afraid to put ultrasonic devices in the house where there are small children. This is due to the fact that the effect of ultrasound on the human body is not yet fully understood.
In fact, this action can be associated with tissue stimulation and local thermal effect, which can have ultrasound on individual organs of a person. Weak stimulation by ultrasonic waves improves blood circulation and metabolic processes.
However, the prolonged and intense influence of ultrasound can destroy body cells and lead to:
- an increase in ROE indicators;
- destruction of nerve cells (in children, the detrimental effect on the central nervous system becomes especially noticeable);
- pathologies from the skeletal system, etc.
But certified air humidifiers use a wave frequency of 5 MHz. Ultrasonic waves with a similar frequency are safe for health. They act not on a person, but on a membrane moistened with water.
If, after buying and installing a humidifier, a child has trouble sleeping, his appetite decreases, he becomes apathetic, shy, then you need to check the device. Perhaps the problem lies in it.
Cheap and low-quality humidifiers of dubious production that do not have the necessary certificates can use a different frequency of waves and a different principle of action, and therefore adversely affect the health of the child.
Those. the probability of a negative effect of a humidifier on the body directly depends on the quality of the device. If you do not save and choose devices from trusted manufacturers, no problems will arise. Humidifiers of the brands Vitek, Scarlett, Sharp, Electrolux, Polaris and Philips are best proven.
How to reduce the negative effects of a humidifier
In most cases, the harm from the use of household humidifiers is associated with a violation of safety regulations, errors in the operation of the equipment and the wrong choice of device.
When buying a humidifier, you should consider:
- the area of the room (this parameter determines how much the tank should have at the device);
- noise level during operation;
- handling characteristics;
- the presence of additional functions (for example, humidifiers with the function of air purification help eliminate various allergens from home and are suitable for families of allergy sufferers);
- power consumption parameters.
It is not recommended to keep the humidifier constantly on. Dr. Komarovsky advises turning on the device only when the air humidity becomes less than 50%.
The water in the device should be changed once a day or every time the unit is turned on. You cannot use the same filter for longer than 30-40 days. Typically, the manufacturer indicates the approximate life of one filter in the accompanying documents to the device.
In addition, you need to pay attention to other microclimate parameters in the room. With an active humidifier, batteries and other heaters should not work to their fullest.
High air temperature in the house along with high humidity can create the effect of the “tropics”, which makes it uncomfortable to be at home.
To reduce the likelihood of this effect, it is recommended to reduce the heating of heating devices. Conventional cast-iron batteries in the apartment can be closed with a special casing or screen. It is also worth more often to air the room.
Conclusions and useful video on the topic
The benefits and harms of an air humidifier depend on its technical characteristics, brand of the manufacturer and quality of performance. If you choose the right unit based on the parameters of the room, then there will be no problems with its negative impact.
It is only necessary not to allow young children to the device, to clean the device in a timely manner and turn it on only when it is really necessary. About how the humidifier affects the well-being of the child, you can see in the following video:
If you pay more attention to the indoor climate and monitor the condition of the humidifiers, the child will become much less sick. His sleep and appetite will improve, as well as attentiveness. An air humidifier, of course, will not save you from all diseases, but it will help to improve the quality of life of many families with children, therefore its purchase is expedient and justified.
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