Humidifiers Safe for Baby?

You may have heard recent news about white dust created by certain humidifiers that can be harmful to small children. White dust is caused by minerals in the water that may be released in the mist of the humidifier and settle as fine white dust that may be small enough to enter the lungs.

So, how can you avoid this white dust? Which kinds of humidifiers are safe and what signs may your child exhibit if they're suffering from the effects of a humidifier?

Medical Director of Children's Breathing Institute and Professor of Pediatrics, Robin Deterding, MD, was recently interviewed by CW2/FOX 31 on this topic and shared some valuable information that may answer your questions. 

Humidifier Facts

Children's expert, Dr. Deterding, has provided some facts and tips below for safe humidifier use.

  • Ultrasonic humidifiers can create white dust, which can be seen on furniture near the humidifiers. Ultrasonic humidifiers can also put organisms into the air. Both the white dust and the organisms can be harmful to the lungs, especially in babies and young children with smaller airways.
  • Ultrasonic humidifiers aren't necessarily bad humidifiers. If you use one, make sure to use distilled water and clean your humidifier properly every day.
  • Don't put ultrasonic humidifiers in an enclosed room, in case white dust emerges. Make sure a door or window is open.
  • Be sure to test-run your humidifier before putting it in a child's room to check for white dust.
  • Check with your pediatrician to see which kind of humidifier or vaporizer they recommend. Dr. Deterding suggests warm vaporizers, but be sure to put it in a place where your child will not be in danger of burning themselves from the steam.