6 On Your Side: Consumer Confidence, Humidifier Safety for Infants and Kids

6 On Your Side: Consumer Confidence, Humidifier Safety for Infants and Kids

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(ABC 6 News) – With drier winter air PLUS cold and flu season coming, a humidifier can help your family sleep more comfortably.

But if you’re using a humidifier around an infant or small child, you’ll want one that’s safe for the nursery.

The experts at CR share which humidifiers are best for babies along with tips on how to keep them clean and yuck-free for everyone in the family.

Consumer Reports can’t promise your baby will sleep through the night, but a humidifier can help your child sleep more comfortably when they do sleep.

Before you go out and buy any humidifier, Consumer Reports has some advice.

“In a nursery or child’s room you want to make sure things are really safe so Consumer Reports recommends you get a cool mist humidifier. A warm mist humidifier which heats water has the potential to scald if there’s an accident,” says CR’s Tobie Stanger.

In a climate-controlled chamber, CR’s testers run the humidifiers overnight and keep track of how many gallons of water each humidifier emits per square foot.

And while moist air can help alleviate congestion, and dry skin, overly humid air can lead to the growth of mold and bacteria. Ideally, you want a relative humidity 30-50% inside your home.

The recommended Levoit Dual 200S Smart for smaller rooms has a built-in humidistat, which turns off the unit when the humidity reaches a desired level.

But if your humidifier doesn’t have a humidistat, you can measure the humidity yourself with a tool called a hygrometer — some are available for less than $10.

Then you can consider the $30 Aqua Oasis AO-101 without a humidistat. For bigger rooms, 300-500 square feet, the Lasko UH200 is a smart buy.

And finally, a humidifier that isn’t cleaned well can spur the growth of potentially harmful mold and bacteria, which could make you or your baby sick!

Consumer Reports recommends rinsing and drying the tank thoroughly every day, and sanitizing the unit with vinegar once a week.

CR says to position your humidifier on a flat level surface, raised at least 2 feet above the floor. This allows more moisture to dissipate into the air.