In my opinion there is just nothing more effective than steam for alleviating congestion and relieving coughs. Sometimes the natural cures are the best and obviously if we can avoid medicating our WonderBabas well then all the better!
For a few years now I’ve been highlighting the Vicks Warm Steam Vapouriser to parents and so many who tried it have agreed with me offering endless happy tales and positive feedback relating to the impact the device had on their child’s respiratory health. This product however is gone off the market but happily has been replaced with a newer and dare I say it fancier model! The new Vicks Warm Mist Humidifier produces more steam, or less if you prefer, due to the addition of two level choices as well as a new easy clean design! Win Win!
I’ll explain the reasons why I feel so strongly about this product as an essential item for anyone with a baby or young child. Every time my children have a cough or a cold I unpack this from the bottom of the wardrobe and put it into action! The Vicks Warm Mist Humidifier maintains a constant flow of warm steam over a 12-14 hours period. This helps to prevent your body loosing essential moisture. Colds, flus and a dry climate can cause dehydration. You may think in Ireland we don’t have a dry climate – but when the winter comes and all of the radiators are on full blast that’s exactly what we get – dried out air. Central heating or illness can cause the mucus lining that protects your child’s lungs to dry out and become thick. Unfortunately bacterial and viral infections thrive in this type of environment and so respiratory conditions are aggravated when this happens.
When your child has a cold their nasal passageways become inflamed which means the airways are narrowed. Add thicker nasal secretions and your child can suddenly become quite stuffed up and uncomfortable and also be at greater risk of infection. Increasing humidity with the Vicks Warm Mist Humidifer will alleviate symptoms and will help to reduce the potential survival of the flu virus on surfaces and in the air. It will also help to relieve dry irritated eyes and skin. It will provide relief to a dry and tickly throat and will improve breathing and aid a restful nights sleep… which let’s be honest is high on the priority list for most parents….for the good of our children of course!! Never mind our sanity…..!
Finally, this is also a great product for soothing coughs as it helps to break down the mucus guilty in chesty coughs, and moistens the airways in the case of dry, irritating coughs. It’s a natural option which is fantastic for troublesome night time coughs as it stays on for 12-14 hours and then shuts off automatically once all of the water you placed in the drum has been released as steam. During the night post nasal drips are at their worst which basically means that mucus from the nasal passageways is dripping down the back of the throat and into the chest – this can cause irritation at night and worsen a chesty cough. It can also be the cause of many seemingly ‘dry coughs’ and so this product is a great solution to these problems as it thins out that mucus which stops it from accumulating and becoming thick and irritating.
I’d like to highlight something that I get asked about a lot. I use this product for the times that they actually have a cough or cold and to prevent or reduce the number of coughs or colds they get and to improve respiratory health I use the Salin Salt Therapy device (FULL REVIEW HERE) every night. Don’t use the two machines at the same time. So basically Salin Plus is to prevent respiratory flare ups in those who suffer regularly or to improve chronic conditions such as asthma, and the Vicks is to alleviate symptoms if they do come down with something!
How does the Vicks Humidifier work?
Techinically speaking it’s more of a vapouriser than a humidifier…yup I’m a bit of devil for the detail..!! To me the difference is important though!
To avoid sounding like a total nitpicker let me explain that vapourisers and humidifiers are very similar in that they both emit moisture into the air which helps to soothe respiratory illness. The mechanism in which they achieve this is however technically different, let me explain…
- Humidifiers work by dispersing water using a small rotating or oscillating disc to divide water droplets into such a tiny size that they can then be fanned into the air thus increasing humidity. Humidifiers generally disperse a cool mist . Humidifiers are less likely to kill bacteria through the heating process and so vigilant cleaning is crucially important!
- Vapourisers work by using a heating element to heat water which creates steam. This steam is warm and is fantastic at soothing night time coughs and sniffles. The only downside is that the warm steam can be dangerous for small children to be around so to ensure safety from burns you must be conscious of that when using them at keep them somewhere out of reach (including the cable and socket). They are generally known as being a little easier to keep clean as the steam kills a lot of bacteria and germs that might settle and grow if the water was not heated.
Other highlights and need to know info!
- It increases humidity by heating water into steam which prevents respiratory dryness and relieves coughs, colds, flu and even hay fever symptoms.
- Soothes irritated dry skin and eyes.
- Promotes sleep by improving breathing and the warm mist is comforting and soothing.
- It has a little oil well just like the old vapouriser where you can place a few drops of Olbas for children (only if baby over 3 months).
- It can be used for any age as long as you ensure the room is sufficiently ventilated and you keep it out of reach of small children who are no longer in a cot as it does produce warm mist so there is a risk of burns if they interfere with it.
- This model can be used with VapoPads for children age three years and over. These are scent pads infused with menthol, eucalyptus oil and cedarleaf oil. The pads last for 8 hours in the device and are available here!
- The humidifier must be placed on a level, firm, heat resistant and waterproof surface. I place a towel under it on the floor.
- If your room has low ventilation I would ensure the door is left open so that the room doesn’t get excessive condensation. The humidifier still works if the door is left open and it also prevents overheating which is important for teeny tiny babies who cant regulate their own temperature. Place it at least 50cm away from the walls to let it have the correct airflow.
- A great plus is that several of the parts are dishwasher friendly! Here is a
quick breakdown of the cleaning needed! The good news is that on a daily basis you just have to rinse the water tank with water and give it a little wipe. Then if your using a dishwasher just pop the appropriate parts in once per week (really easy to take apart and put back together even by my low technical standards!!) onto the top shelf and run the dishwasher on a light or normal cycle without detergent! That’s it!
- If you choose not to use a dishwasher there are full weekly clean and fortnightly disinfecting instructions in the little booklet – but I’m lazy so went with the dishwasher option.
That’s all the main points really – so whilst it is coming in just over a tenner more expensive than the old model it’s a fairly good offering in terms of value! This model has better functionality than the old model with a low and high setting which can be changed using the simple dial. It’s worth noting that like the old model it does make noise, my kids have never minded it and if anything it has acted as white noise which is a positive thing in my book! The lower setting is slightly quieter so you could use that at bedtime, then turn it up once they are asleep and then turn it down again when your going to bed yourself….this relies completely on them going to sleep before you though…I’ll let you work that bit out
I find that in the morning there is a little bit of water in the bowl under the water refill but never a lot and I think it escapes during the steam production process – it doesn’t bother me at all or effect functionality but I said I’d mention it! I just dab the water with a towel and we are ready for the next night! Remember to open the windows to let the moisture out in the morning and also fresh air in which is a good idea whether you’re using a humidifier or not!
The Vicks Warm Mist Humidifier and Vapopads are available to purchase here!
Olbas for children is available to purchase here!
Oh I almost forgot to say!! A mum came into the pharmacy to tell me that she puts it in her bedroom and adds a few drops of lavender oil instead of olbas to give herself a little spa therapy!! Us mums are nothing if not resourceful!! So when everyone is well, turn on the Vicks, add some lavender or other nice essential oils and paint your nails because you need to take the opportunities as they come during motherhood!!
I hope you have found this article helpful and if you have any questions at all please don’t hesitate to contact me by sending a private message to the WonderBaba facebook page or my website contact page or by calling me (Sheena) at Milltown totalhealth Pharmacy in Dublin 6 on 012600262.