Humidifier and air conditioner - should you use them in the baby's room?by Business Listings Editor
When the temperature rises and the weather is hot and humid, air conditioners (A/C) can be heaven sent. By extracting moisture from the air, A/C units revitalize the air and make it extra cool to baby’s skin.
However, this can devoid the air of humidity, which leads to a host of health problems. This is especially true in countries like Singapore, where air conditioners are used excessively because of the high humidity.
How excessive air conditioner use can be harmful to your baby’s health
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Because air conditioners pull vapor from the air, the air cools and becomes very dry. This provides cooling comfort to the skin and keeps external allergens like mildew and pollen at bay.
However, the body needs moisture to function well. Air moisture evaporates whenever you turn on the A/C, so not only does the skin become dry and itchy, but the throat, air passages and mucus membranes dry up as well.
This causes irritation and congestion, which is why homes whose air conditioners are constantly turned on also have babies who are more prone to a stuffy nose, sore throat, eye irritation, chapped lips and even nose bleeds.
In addition, because air circulates poorly in air conditioned rooms, the risk of transmitting a respiratory disease from an infected individual to a baby (whose immune system is not yet fully developed to fight off illnesses) is also greater – a fact that has been proven in many studies conducted by scientific journals, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
How to prevent the ill effects of air condition
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For many individuals in such high-humidity countries, giving up air conditioning altogether is not feasible - at least not when you have a baby around. To minimize these effects, many air conditioner users also utilize humidifiers at home.
Humidifiers help retain moisture in the air by placing it in a built-in reservoir, then spritzing it in the air in the form of mist. This keeps the cool air from causing discomfort and prevents moisture in the body from getting sucked up, thereby decreasing the risk of eye, nasal, skin, throat, and sinus irritation.
While not that widely available, there are also a combination-type air conditioner which come with a humidifier function. This is an excellent option if you can’t afford to let go of your air conditioner but also need the air to be properly humidified.
Some people who want to do away with air conditioners use a cool mist humidifier, which is a type of humidifier that retains moisture in the air without making room temperature warm and humid. These humidifiers are less costly than other types, and are equipped with a cooling fan that produces white noise, noise that is proven to be beneficial in ensuring sounder sleep for babies.
If you are using an A/C, keep the thermostat at 21 to 25 degrees Celsius. Don’t forget to keep them clean and well-ventilated.
Humidifier filters must be cleaned every day with water and bleach (9:1 ratio) to avoid bacterial growth. Throw away water in the basin regularly. Filters must be replaced at least once a month.
Remember, in any room, humidity should be kept between 35 and 50 percent. Any lower and you risk a congested nose and dry skin and mucus membranes, while higher than that makes the air conducive to mildew growth, which is harmful for babies (and adults too), especially those who have allergies and asthma.
Keep your airconditioners clean for your baby's benefit. Visit inSing Business Directory's listing of aircon cleaners in Singapore to find a company you can contact today.