As winter approaches, you get worried about your little one getting sick and try to cover them up in as many layers as possible. Going outside isn’t that big of a problem as staying in is. So how to keep your child warm indoors as well? Does using a space heater answer all your questions? Is it safe?
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, space heating systems cause around 25,000 fire accidents in residential areas. It results in the deaths of approximately 300 people every year. It is generally advised not to leave space heaters on at night because they are involved in almost 80 percent of all fatal home heating fires.
There are certain issues attached to using a space heater. But there are solutions to the safe use of space heaters as well. Depending on the factors such as where you live and how dry your baby’s skin is are specific parameters you should keep in mind while investing in one.
Before investing in one, let’s learn what these issues are and what you can do to use space heaters safely. I’ll also go over tips to remember when you buy a space heater.
Does a baby nursery need a space heater?
Space heaters are not something a doctor would recommend easily, and neither is it considered essential in a baby’s nursery. Certain extreme conditions are required when you should opt to use a space heater. Otherwise, wrapping up your little one in warm layers is what every doctor tells you to do.
- When your house is situated in a specific direction where you are not able to get enough sunlight.
- Suppose your baby’s room generally remains freezing compared to other parts of the house, but due to some reason, you’re unable to shift the nursery.
- You live in a place where it remains cold most of the year.
Issues regarding space heaters
Specific issues related to using a space heater in your baby’s room that you should learn about are:
Using a heater in a closed space such as a room means accepting that they are bound to suck in the necessary moisture in the air. As a space heater absorbs moisture, your baby develops dry skin with a dry nasal passage as well. If the space heater is left on for a long time, the dryness can also lead to a nose bleed in your baby.
With continuous and unregulated use of a space heater, your baby develops dry skin. Dry skin will lead to itchy skin, and so your toddler will start getting irritated and would stay in a bad mood.
Having more delicate skin than adults, babies tend to react to everything around them quickly. If not taken care of, their skin can develop more issues.
Moreover, your baby gets uncomfortable you haven’t dressed them up appropriately. By this, I mean dressing them up in a light layer of clothing.
If you have your space heater on in your baby’s room, dressing them up in multiple layers will generate more heat, leading to overheating in their bodies. They will also find it difficult to breathe if their bodies are overheated.
Maintaining a safe distance from the space heater is another thing you need to be mindful of for your baby’s safety. While you are an adult and well aware of this fact, your child isn’t.
Heaters and blowers become extremely hot when switched on and can easily harm your child if they accidentally touch it. Invest in a heater that isn’t hot to touch when in use; the surface must remain cool.
Just as layering up your child can cause their body to overheat, similarly, using a space heater at a high temperature can cause the same problem. With continuous use of a space heater, your baby’s room can become overheated and result in SIDS or Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. Due to the sensitive nature of babies, they tend to get overheated quickly if covered up in multiple layers of clothing than required, and their environment becomes hot as well.
Quick change in temperature
It would be best if you increase or decrease the temperature in a regulated manner. When you change your baby’s environment quickly with hot and cold, this might also affect them, and they might end up catching a cold. Maintaining the temperature is also something you should note when you start using a space heater in your baby’s nursery.
Solutions to drawbacks of space heaters
- You can maintain moisture in the air by keeping a small bucket or bowl of water in your baby’s room, away from their reach, to avoid any spillage. Do this every time you are using the space heater. In comparison, this is a quick fix to your problem but not the best solution. Using a humidifier is a much better option to maintain the moisture content of the room, which will help your baby keep happy all year round!
- Moisturize your little one daily using creams and natural oils. By doing this, you can help their skin absorb the moisture and balance out their body’s natural moisture content. Their skin will remain smooth, and dryness with itchiness will not cause a problem.
- When the space heater is on, make sure your baby is as comfortable as possible. To make this happen, you need to see if your baby feels comfortable in their clothes. Dressing your baby is essential. Layering them up will only cause their body to overheat. Dress them lightly in a single layer when using a space heater to avoid overheating in their body.
- Avoid using space heaters for a prolonged time and keep turning them off in short intervals. Remember, you also need to regulate the temperature, not create a mini summer in your baby’s room but just enough so it’s not cold in their room.
- Before you invest in a space heater for your baby’s benefit, see to it that you buy one whose surface doesn’t become hot when switched on. Certain space heaters are safe to use and look for ones whose exterior doesn’t become hot.
- Convection heaters and halogen heaters are suitable for use. But do your research based on the factors that are important to you. Keeping the heater in a safe space away from your baby’s reach is a tip you should follow.
- Being of a delicate nature, your baby can easily have SIDS. To avoid that, you need to regulate the heater’s temperature. Never set the heater on with a high temperature but set it to a moderate level.
- Keep switching off the heater in intervals so the room doesn’t end up overheated.
- To avoid temperature fluctuation, you should allow some ventilation in the room. Open one window at all times when using a heater to keep the room airy too.
Types of space heaters
For newborns and infants
- Newborns and infants aren’t good at regulating their body temperature, so get something that can quickly maintain the room temperature, such as a heating device with a thermostat.
- Even when you’re getting your baby ready for a massage or a bath, you need to warm up the room quickly. For such scenarios, electrical coil, fan, and convection heaters work really well.
- Advantages to such heaters are maintaining the temperature for a long time even after being turned off, preventing an extreme drop in temperature.
For crawling or walking babies
- At this stage, your baby is an explorer and gets attracted by anything shiny or bright-coloured. So a coil heater is hazardous as the red coil could attract your baby.
- For this stage of your baby, getting a heater mounted on a wall, oil heater, or radiators is a good option.
- Even though your child somewhat has an idea of right and wrong at this age, it still might be hazardous for them.
- Oil heaters and radiators can work well if you take the necessary precautions. But investing in a split AC with cold and hot features would be a better choice to make. Mounted heaters are always a good option.
When you start your research about various heaters, it might become overwhelming to sort through a bunch of varieties.
Here’s a list of important factors to consider before investing in a baby-safe space heater:
- The surface doesn’t heat up
- A child can’t put in their finger through the grate
- Try to get an automatic shut-off space heater that shuts off when the room is heated enough to avoid prolonged usage. And to prevent drawbacks that follow a prolonged use of space heaters
- Humidifying heater
- Shuts off when tips over
- The broader base doesn’t let the space heater tip-off
- Portable and compact
- Electricity efficient
Space heaters are not something that doctors recommend to use, but parents still want to invest in one. Before you think about getting one, you should know certain issues to installing one in your baby’s room. But there are solutions to those issues as well, and as long as you follow certain rules, you can keep your baby warm with the help of a space heater.
Although a doctor will always tell you that keeping your baby warm can be taken care of by dressing them appropriately. And make sure they stay active during the daytime and have proper sleeping conditions during nighttime. There are still parents out there whose living conditions aren’t that favorable and have to invest in a space heater.
Keep in mind not to use a space heater for a prolonged time, and make sure your baby doesn’t feel suffocated or overheated. This could also lead to them developing SIDS. Keep the room ventilated enough. The most important thing to remember is to make sure your little one stays comfortable and happy amongst all this!