Monday, January 10, 2011

Humidifier Warning

This is aggravating-the one thing that I am allowed to use for my baby when he is sick is now a danger as well. What about keeping the baby in the bathroom while the shower is turned on hot to create steam? I wonder if there is a danger with that. I would think it would have the same benefits. You just couldn't keep it up for very long unless you wanted to waste a bunch of water. We have gone through a ton of humidifiers because they seem to collect bacteria and they are really hard to clean. Do you use a humidifier in your house?

FROM NBC: There are possible concerns about the safety of a common household item that many of us use for our kids' health. In fact, there could be one in your child's room right now. We're talking about humidifiers. A report in the journal 'Pediatrics' says babies may be vulnerable to lung problems due to the fine particles released by ultrasonic humidifiers. "What a good boy you are." Little Emilio Romo is getting his one month check up. "He's eating almost six ounces."

Like many parents, his mom has a humidifier at home, just in case he catches a cold, or the air is too dry. She says it works great for all her children.
Jacquie Romo/Parent: "They don't start coughing, the nose is cleaner." But according to a doctor at the University of Utah, humidifiers may do more harm than good. Dr. Ameet Daftary says a six month old patient of his suffered from serious lung problems. And he blames it on an ultrasonic humidifier, saying that the lungs of babies may not be able to handle the chemical particles that ultrasonic humidifiers can kick out. He also says there isn't any clear evidence that humidifiers actually relieve cold symptoms. Dr. Bill Hitchcock/Pediatrician: "When we give a child a breathing treatment in the office, in the emergency room it's humidified air."

La Jolla pediatrician Dr. Bill Hitchcock believes humidifiers do help, if they are properly cleaned after each use. Otherwise, they can build up bacteria, fungus and a white dust created by minerals, all of which can irritate the lungs. Dr.Bill Hitchcock/Pediatrician:
"I'd be cautious, make sure I'm cleaning it, make sure I'm using it properly. I don't think you need to throw it in the garbage just yet." Another tip: you should always use distilled water to reduce the amount of minerals expelled by the humidifier.

-NewsAnchorMom Jen

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