I’m sure I’m not going to tell you something you don’t know already but it’s worth noting that pediatricians globally agree that airless, hot and humid environments aren’t safe for newborns.
Your baby’s room temperature should be comfortable, ideally below 26 degrees Celsius. A common rule of thumb is to make sure your baby’s room or surrounding temperature is comfortable for you. If it is, then it should be comfortable for your baby as well.
In most cases during summer, you need to do more to keep your baby cool. Your baby may not need bedclothes and blankets during summer. You may also be required to control their surrounding temperature using appliances like portable air conditioners.
But, are portable air conditioners safe for babies?
As long as you take some precautions, air conditioners should be safe for babies. Some people believe that air conditioners produce carbon dioxide but that’s not true. Here are some important tips to consider when using any type of air conditioners including portable air conditioners to create a comfortable and safe environment for your baby.
1. Maintain a 23 to 26 degrees Celsius room temperature
To avoid cooling down your baby’s room or surrounding too much, consider maintaining a surrounding temperature of 23 to 36 degrees Celsius. To do this effectively, monitor the surrounding temperature. Most AC’s have functionalities for detecting the temperature of the surrounding.
Use these features to make sure you don’t cool down the surrounding too much and expose your baby to health risks associated with cold environments.
2. Make sure your baby isn’t in the path of the cold stream of air coming out of your AC
Air conditioners should be used to cool your baby’s surrounding as opposed to cooling your baby’s body directly. Exposing your baby to the cold air from your AC directly can cause serious respiratory health problems. Ideally, your baby should not lie directly in front of the AC especially during the night as this can lower their body temperature to dangerous levels.
3. Cover your baby’s ears and head
Keeping your baby away from the cold stream of air coming out of your AC isn’t enough. You should also consider covering your baby’s ears and head especially when they are sleeping. You can use a light cap.
This is advisable for babies who are less than a year old because they loose excessive heat through their heads. With an AC in place, you don’t want your baby’s temperature to drop too much as this might make your baby’s skin dry and cause other health problems.
4. Dress your baby using light clothing
Adults can cover or uncover themselves accordingly depending on the temperature fluctuations at night. They can also take other measures such as shift to a cooler or warmer spot in their beds.
Infants don’t have this luxury which is why they should be dressed in light full clothing to make sure they are comfortable regardless of the temperature fluctuations. Considering night temperatures tend to fall after mid night, it is important for infants to be appropriately covered at night.
5. Ensure your air conditioner is in good working condition
Air conditioners are also safe for babies if they are in good working condition. A poorly serviced AC can’t be able to cool a room effectively. Poorly serviced air conditioners can also lower air quality introducing unnecessary health risks.
6. Check your baby periodically
Last but not least, you need to check on your baby regularly. You should switch off the AC if your baby’s hands, feet, neck, and chest fall below normal body temperature. According to the NHS, the normal body temperature for babies is between 36 and 37 degrees Celsius. Anything below that can be hazardous to an infant especially if the infant is exposed to the low temperatures over a prolonged time.
Overheating can cause sudden infant death syndrome. It can also cause many other health problems. This shouldn’t, however, be mistaken to mean you should use your AC excessively to keep your baby cool. There are other precautions to consider as well.
Ideally, you should monitor the surrounding temperature to ensure your baby stays comfortable. You should also monitor your baby’s body temperature and make sure you don’t place your baby directly in front of the AC. It’s also important to cover your baby’s head with a light cap to avoid excessive heat loss. Lastly, don’t forget to dress your baby lightly and ensure you are using a good AC.
Are portable air conditioners safe for babies? Well, yes. But you have to take the precautions discussed above.
Disclaimer: AirReviews.co.uk does not provide medical advice, treatment or diagnosis.