An air conditioner for babies can protect them from the scorching heat of summer by providing some relief. A cool environment is conducive for babies to get an undisturbed and sound sleep. However, before setting up an air conditioner in your baby’s room, you need to be aware of some important things.
If you’re wondering about the safety of air conditioners for your baby’s room, read through for the answer and a few tips on how to keep your baby safe.
Is Air Conditioning Safe For Babies?
When used in moderation, an air conditioner can help reduce the risk of dehydration and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) caused due to high indoor room temperature (1). However, you need to take certain precautions to maintain an optimal temperature that is not too cold, as babies’ bodies are not fully developed to regulate their body temperature.
When used cautiously, an air conditioner has some benefits to offer.
- It can help keep the room at the optimal temperature in summer. The recommended room temperature for babies is 65℉- 72℉ (18-21C), irrespective of the season (2).
- It helps keep the room comfortable and cozy for your little one to sleep like a log.
- It can prevent dehydration in babies.
An AC may prove counterproductive if you do not take necessary precautions.
- If the optimal room temperature is not maintained, it might lead to hypothermia in babies.
- Germs and allergens can get logged in the air filters and ductworks of the AC, which can cause respiratory issues in babies.
- AC can also deplete moisture from your baby’s skin and make their skin rough and dry.
However, by taking care of these aspects, you can provide your baby a safe and cool environment.
Tips To Ensure Your Baby’s Safety While Using An Air Conditioner
Here are some tips to follow to mitigate any issues in your baby due to air conditioning.
1. Maintain the optimal temperature
Try to maintain the optimal room temperature and not make the room too cold as it might lead to hypothermia in babies.
2. Position air vents away from the crib
Make sure you place the baby’s crib away from the air vents of the air conditioner. The direct cold air can make your baby feel chilly. While designing your baby’s nursery, position the crib away from the air conditioning vents.
3. Dress the baby appropriately
Dress your baby in light layers that cover their arms and legs. You may also use a soft cap to protect the head. This would prevent the baby’s body from getting cold. Although the room temperature may be optimal, you need to cover your baby with one extra layer while making them sleep in an air-conditioned room. Avoid using a blanket to cover your baby (below six months) as it may increase the risk of suffocation.
4. Control the air-conditioned time
It is important to keep the air conditioner on for a limited period to prevent the room from getting too cold. If your AC has a built-in alarm clock, set it to the duration needed to cool the room down. If the AC does not have a built-in alarm clock, set the alarm on your smartphone. Check the temperature of the room from time to time to ensure your baby is comfortable.
5. Conduct regular maintenance
ACs attract dust and germs, which get deposited in the filters and ductwork. Using AC units that are dirty can circulate germs and allergens into the air, posing a threat to your baby. Follow a strict schedule and get your AC unit cleaned. Also, ensure you take out the air filters and wash them regularly, especially if your child has medical history of asthma, frequent sneezing, itchy skin, and recurrent conjunctivitis.
6. Clean the room occasionally
Shut all the doors and windows while using an AC unit in your child’s nursery. When the AC is not in use, open the doors and windows and clean the room. Also, ensure you let the sun and external air enter your baby’s room.
Alternative Methods To Cool Your Baby’s Room
You could also implement some alternative methods to keep your baby’s room cool if you are not comfortable using an AC.
- You may use an air cooler. Although it may not cool the room as efficiently as an AC, it is cheaper and may not consume much power.
- You may use a dehumidifier and a ceiling fan to keep the humidity at bay and keep the room cool.
- You may consider using curtains to block the heat and keep the room cool.
- Dress your baby in lighter clothes during summer, and make sure you bathe them before bedtime.
AC Vs. Air Cooler
AC is a better choice than air coolers for cooling down the room efficiently. If you live in an extremely hot place, you may choose an AC.
Air coolers are low maintenance and cheaper than AC. AC consumes more power, and you may need a technician to get them serviced from time to time. In the case of air coolers, you can clean them yourself.
Air coolers are not suitable for humid places, as too much moisture in the air can reduce the cooling effect. Keep the door open to let the moisture escape the baby’s room.
ACs are relatively safe for babies when used cautiously. Getting your baby’s room air-conditioned is a personal choice, but if you plan to do so, it is important to keep in mind the safety aspects and strictly follow them. Also, do not overuse an AC as your baby might get used to it and may not sleep without it. So, consider switching on the AC only when the weather is too hot.
Using an air conditioner for babies is safe, provided you strictly follow the recommended safety precautions. When used cautiously, the AC can keep the baby’s room at optimal temperature during summers and prevent dehydration and SIDS caused by high indoor temperatures. However, avoid its overuse since the baby may get used to staying in air-conditioned rooms and may not be comfortable without an AC, even in normal weather conditions. So, use an AC only when the weather is too hot for comfort.
- Air conditioners are safe for babies when an optimum temperature of 65℉- 72℉ (18-21C) is maintained.
- Some benefits of using an air conditioner are that it keeps the room comfortable and prevents dehydration in babies.
- If not used cautiously, air conditioners may deplete moisture from the baby’s skin or lead to hypothermia.
2. What Is The Ideal Temperature a Baby’s Room Should Be?; Sleep Advisor