Is Air Conditioning Safe for Babies?
When you have a new child, everything in their life is brand new. And for a new mom and dad, it means you’ll have a lot to worry about.
A quick search online will give you a hundred different things to burden your days and nights. Are you feeding them correctly? Are they reaching the appropriate milestones?
It can also bring up worries you’ve never considered before. Like the safety of running an air conditioner when your baby is at home.
Babies are simply smaller versions of ourselves. They have the same needs. They have similar desires. They want to feel loved. They want a safe, secure environment. They want food on demand. And they want to be comfortable – warm in the winter and cool in the summer.
Not much different than you and me. But they have the added burden of not being able to communicate and explain what’s wrong.
So they cry. And you’re left piecing together what it all means and how to make it better.
A Safe And Comfortable Environment
In order to keep a baby comfortable and secure, it’s important to provide an environment in which they can thrive. Just like adults, babies enjoy a comfortable place. They might not exert much energy throughout the day, but being a baby is hard work. They are growing and changing every day. Sleeping difficulties can lead to other issues. And just like it’s difficult for you to sleep in uncomfortable surroundings, your baby will find a room that is too hot or too cold a challenge. They can’t pull up a blanket or kick off the covers. So it’s important that you adjust the temperature with the use of a comfortable sleeper and air conditioning in the summer months.
Babies will also succumb to heat stress and heat exhaustion more easily than adults. And because it can happen quickly in a child that only weighs a few pounds, it’s important to watch over them and ensure their comfort all day and all night long. Warm temperatures can quickly exacerbate the situation. If a child begins sweating, they can quickly become dehydrated in just a few hours. And that can lead to a variety of serious health risks.
An air conditioner ensures you have the proper temperature to remain cool, no matter what the temperature is outside. Depending on how your nursery is set up, it is a good idea to keep the crib away from drafts and vents. You can either move the crib to another location in the room, or direct the vent away from blowing directly across where your baby lies. Also, make sure that vents in hallways and other nearby rooms don’t add to the chilliness of a room. With many homes, there seems to be a room that never heats or cools properly. And while this can be a sign your HVAC equipment may not be running as efficiently as possible, it’s important to learn these nuances before your new baby spends her first few weeks there.
Well Maintained HVAC Equipment
If your HVAC equipment is in good working condition, you won’t have a reason to worry about the impact on your new baby. However, dirty ductwork and a problematic air conditioning system can become problematic.
If an air conditioner is operating as designed, it will pump cooled air into the locations you desire. A poorly maintained air conditioner can circulate dust and other allergens throughout your home, putting your babies respiratory at risk.
Studies show that the rates of allergy are increasing around the world, and currently impact anywhere from 30 to 35 percent of the general population. Allergies are caused when the body’s immune system reacts to a normally harmless substance, such as pollen or house dust mites. The body sees it as a threat instead, and produces an inappropriate response to it. And while much more research needs to be done in this area, being exposed to the typical allergens that circulate through the use of standard HVAC equipment may have an impact.
To maintain healthy indoor air quality, it’s important to keep your air conditioner operating efficiently at all times. Schedule routine maintenance visits to ensure its operating effectively. Change air filters on a regular basis. Provide a thorough cleaning of the system, identifying any problems at a minimum at the beginning of the season. And if your air conditioning service tech finds a problem, fix it immediately.
With today’s technology, it’s easier than ever to monitor the inner workings of your home. A smart thermostat, for instance, will help you regulate your home’s climate more efficiently and accurately.
As a new parent, you’re probably still coping with a 24 hour schedule. Nights and days blend together as your infant demands attention every few hours. It’s easy to forget to adjust the temperature depending on the time of day and the temperature outside. With a smart thermostat, you have access easily all from the palm of your hand. You can program it based on your desired settings at specific times of the day. Or you can adjust it wherever you have wi-fi access, whether you are sitting at the office, or sitting in the baby’s room.
Also keep in mind that today’s air conditioners are more environmentally friendly and energy efficient than any of their counterparts. If your home still has an old air conditioner using R-22 Freon, the chemical is being phased out in all residential and commercial applications because of its ozone depleting compound. While Freon is a tasteless, odorless gas that is non-toxic and won’t harm occupants when used as intended, it doesn’t have the eco-friendly aspects that today’s alternative refrigerants offer. By upgrading your air conditioning system, you will improve the way it cools your home’s air as well as creating a greener environment to live in. A win-win all the way around.