You’re having a baby, and you want the nursery you’re building for your baby to be perfect. As a father, you don’t want to put anything in the nursery that could put your baby’s health at risk. You’ve picked out the wall color, the crib, and the toys, but now you’re wondering about structural elements of the room. Are ceiling fans safe for babies?
With the distraction of setting up the nursery, some parents might not even stop to question whether or not a ceiling fan is safe. Ceiling fans are indeed safe for babies, as long as you use them properly.
How should I use a ceiling fan with my baby?
The best thing for your baby is to run the ceiling fan on a low speed when your baby is sleeping. The white noise of the fan can help your baby sleep better. It mimics the constant, soft noise of the womb and makes them feel comfortable. Keeping the fan at a low speed provides the right amount of white noise without being too loud.
The low speed also insures that the baby isn’t losing too much body heat. The best way to ensure that your baby doesn’t get too cold from the fan is to not place the crib directly under the fan. Ceiling fans also create ventilation and air circulation that can reduce your baby’s risk of SIDS.
What is SIDS?
You might already know about SIDS, but here’s a refresher. SIDS, or Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, is a syndrome that causes the sudden, inexplicable death of babies under a year old. It typically happens while they’re asleep, and babies from 2 to 4 months old are at the highest risk.
While the cause of SIDS isn’t exactly known by researchers, it’s suspected to have something to do with their breathing. Studies have shown that using a ceiling fan while your baby sleeps can reduce the risk of SIDS by over 70%.
How do ceiling fans reduce the risk of SIDS?
The supposed cause of SIDS is that babies breathe in too much carbon dioxide from the exhalation of relatives sleeping with them or soft bedding, toys, or poor ventilation keeping their own exhalation too close to their face. When they’re breathing in too much carbon dioxide, they’re not getting enough oxygen. They effectively then suffocate in their sleep.
Ceiling fans reduce the risk of SIDS by improving air flow in the room. With a ceiling fan constantly circulating the air, carbon dioxide is moved away from the face and new air replaces it. This can keep your baby’s breathing healthy. There are other methods you should use to prevent SIDS, such as placing your baby on their back to sleep and keeping toys and other soft bedding out of the crib. Ceiling fans can help cut down risk, though.
How else can you ensure safe ceiling fan usage?
Have a professional install your ceiling fan. If you are a professional contractor, in that case you can install your ceiling fan yourself. Otherwise, proper installation is vital to ensure that your fan doesn’t fall out of the ceiling and injure your baby. Proper installation also ensures that pieces of the fan won’t fall out and injure your baby. Don’t feel bad about not installing the fan yourself; look at it as the right choice for the safety of your baby.
Be sure to clean your fan monthly. Dust and dirt from the air can build up on your fan’s blades. If pieces of this buildup fall off of your fan, a baby can breathe them in and potentially choke. Add a monthly reminder to your calendar to clean your fan. To make cleaning easier and not leave any potentially dangerous dust balls on the floor, use a pillow case for dusting. Wrap the pillow case around the fan blade, apply light pressure to both sides of the fan blade, and lightly pull the pillow case off. This should brush off any debris and safely deposit them inside of the pillow case for disposal.
So, are ceiling fans safe for babies? Yes, and they can actually make your home safer for your baby. If you want to lower your baby’s risk of SIDS and provide them with better sleep, have a professional install a ceiling fan in your nursery. This can provide your baby with more safety and you with some peace of mind. Having a baby is an exciting time in life—congratulations on your new baby and the research you’re putting in to keeping them safe.