Many parents use humidifiers to relieve the misery of their stuffy-nosed kid suffering from the cold or flu. But raising the humidity in a child’s room may not be doing any good, after all.
According to Ameet Daftary, an assistant professor of pulmonology at the University of Utah School of Medicine, there is no definitive evidence that humidifers actually relieve cold symptoms.
So, where did this humidifier "solution" stem from? Parents of young children have just a few options for cold medications, Daftary says, which may encourage them to use humidifiers. Addtionally, pediatricians routinely recommend them, along with saline nose drops, to treat colds.
Also, people generally feel most comfortable with air at about 40% humidity, and winter humidity in a centrally-heated house can drop down into the teens. So, that’s why a sick child may feel better in a more humid room, but there’s no scientific proof for the relief of symptoms.
So, this news suggests that parents are going through a whole lot of trouble – buying humidifiers, struggling to clean them, plus purchasing expensive filters and antimicrobial additives – for something that doesn’t really help much.