Vicks is a well-known company for decongesting noses of kids, adults, teens and the like. But what about babies? What exactly are the pros and cons of using Vicks VapoPads for babies? Are they safe or not? Read this article to find out.
What Are Vicks VapoPads?
If you are familiar with humidifiers and nasal decongestion then you might probably have heard about Vicks as a brand. Vicks VapoPads are simply vapor pads that you can put inside vaporizers, plug-ins and steam inhalers.
The most common use of Vicks VapoPads include the following:
1. For relaxation. These pads are ideal for when you had a rough day at work and you just want to relax your nose and breathing. It is ideal for those who had rough nasal allergies (sneezing) and those who just want a soothing relief when they rest or fall asleep.
2. Ideal for cough relief. Most people use Vicks products for this purpose, anyway. Vicks VapoPads are also no different from the VapoRub product – it is just used in a special plug-in that is made by the company (Vicks). When people have a cough, they can use Vicks products as a cooling sensation to relax their lungs.
3. Congestion and breathing problems. If you have difficulty with colds and allergies, the intensity of the menthol product is good for those with bad nasal decongestion, but it is not advised for younger people (see below explanations).
4. It can last while you sleep. VapoPads are often used in a plug-in, which can last for about a whole sleep cycle, let’s say about 6 to 8 hours. Unlike using the good old VapoRub on your nose (which can only last for a few minutes then dissipate), VapoPads are designed to aid you while you sleep so you don’t have to feel irritated with the congestion or difficulty in breathing.
5. Scents of essential oils. There are some Vicks VapoPads that have scents of essential oils diffused with them. For instance, they have lavender, cedar leaf, eucalyptus and rosemary flavors, but the most common one is the eucalyptus one, since that is the best for decongestion and soothing your nose and breathing problems. Lavender, on the other hand, may be the best for when you want to sleep soundly.
Is It OK To Use Vicks Humidifier For Babies?
This is a yes and no question. It is okay to use a Vicks humidifier if the humidifier only contains water-based drops. Health experts (and parents) suggest that you should NOT use Vicks VaporPads for babies because they are too strong.
Of course, some parents do consider using them but more of these parents prefer not to use them for babies who are too young (e.g. less than 2 years old). Many of these parents advice essential oils like eucalyptus oil and organic stuff instead of Vicks, just to be safe.
Using VapoPads for babies who are under 2 years old can result in:
1. Irritation of their sensitive airways
2. Difficulty in breathing due to the intensity of the menthol
3. Increase the mucous in their nose, which leads to more congestion
4. Vapor from the VapoPad may irritate their already-inflamed nose or airways
Is It Safe To Put Vicks In Humidifier?
Unfortunately, no. The explanation for this is that your humidifier can get greasy and clogged, which can turn to gunk and corrosion. Here’s how:
1. The petroleum oil product comes from Vicks VapoRub and VapoPads is not something that’s safe. For starters, it is flammable when you heat it up, and we all know that most humidifiers need to heat up the stuff in there in order to spread elsewhere in the room. As a matter of fact, Vicks puts an advisory on their products such that they should not be added to hot water or exposed to any kind of heat such as a microwave.
2. Humidifiers are designed to heat. They are not ideal for VapoRub because they are flammable. Instead of VapoRub that has petroleum oils, you should consider something else, such as essential oils that are not flammable.
If you ever do want to use Vicks products in a situation where your baby feels cold and needs a decongestant in the cold weather, you CAN put it in a vaporizer. This special liquid called Vicks VapoSteam is designed for vaporizers that are made by Vicks and some other companies as well.
Is Menthol Safe For Babies?
No, menthol is not exactly safe for babies who are under 2 years old. This is because menthol may irritate your baby’s lungs too much and can cause some breathing problems. While eucalyptus extract (organic ones) are okay, it also needs to be toned down if your baby is still too young.
Here are the reasons why menthol can be dangerous to babies (and to humidifiers):
1. Menthol is flammable. Yep, other than the petroleum material that’s found in most Vicks products, menthol is actually a flammable ingredient. The Food and Drug Administration actually warned people not to use any menthol products near the flame, such as in a microwave, oven, heating pad, humidifier, hot water and much more.
2. Irritation on the eye and skin can happen. Because menthol is too strong, it might irritate your skin and your eyes, especially when you go near it – much more for babies.
3. Babies have sensitive (and still developing) lungs and nose. Because your baby is still in their development stage, the smell of anything that is too strong can overwhelm them, and this can cause them to suffocate instead of getting decongested. This is why companies advised over the usage of menthol for babies.
4. Menthol is too strong in the formulation. This is why you need a carrier oil lotion in order to make it subtle for human skin.
Vicks VapoPads are okay for adults and older kids, but to babies, it is best to stay away from them. After all, the company advises not to use them for babies who are 2 years or younger. You should consult your pediatrician on a good solution for their nasal problems and provide a better decongestant solution that will not hurt their lungs and sensitive airways.