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Are Fans Bad for Babies?

While you may love sleeping with your ceiling fan on, you may wonder, are fans bad for babies? How safe is the fan blowing on your baby while they are sleeping? Their bodies are tiny, and they seem like the most fragile beings in the world. It’s no wonder why many parents worry whether the temperature can cause colds or other illnesses.

However, if you wish to get the straight facts on the subject, you have come to the right place. To learn once and for all about the effects of leaving the ceiling fan running in your baby’s room, read below.

Can a Fan Make a Baby Sick or Cause a Cold?

baby wearing socks to keep warm

Leaving the ceiling fan on a low setting is simply not enough of a risk factor that can damage their health and cause a cold. However, if you want to be on the safe side, ensure your baby is wrapped in his or her favorite swaddle or sleep sack. Socks and booties are also essential, as most of their body heat escapes from those tiny feet.

If you’re living in a colder climate, you may need to leave it off until the temperatures reach a more suitable level. Use your common sense and ask yourself whether you’re currently feeling too hot or too cold while considering the outside temperature.

Then, in regards to your baby, always dress them in one to two more layers than you would wear.

If you want to circulate the air in their nursery, simply turn their fan on and set it in reverse.

You’ll be glad to learn that fans can do more harm than good, and your baby catching a cold should be the least of your worries. In case you’re feeling unsure, watch out for these other risk factors that are more likely to give your infant a case of the chills.

For example, having a compromised immune system, touching contaminated surfaces, or breathing in pathogens in the air are all more likely to infect a young child.

However, leaving them to sleep with the ceiling fan turned on in the same room is not on par with these other risks, so go ahead and shake those fears.

How About Sleeping Under a Ceiling Fan?

If you worry about your baby catching a cold while they sleep, make sure they’re in a pair of cozy pajamas when placing them into their crib or bassinet at night. Blankets are a health hazard if they are younger than a year, so make sure to keep them away from the crib.

Also, if you choose to bathe your baby before bedtime, always use warm (not scalding) water and make sure they are thoroughly dry before changing them and putting them to bed.

Can a Fan be Pointed Directly on a Baby?

Be wary of how close the fan is. You don’t want your baby to place their fingers close to the spinning fan blades. You also don’t want your child feeling too cold — as babies are not the best at regulating their own body temperature.

If you’re using the type of fan you plug into the wall, make sure to place it across the room from where they sleep. If you’re using the ceiling fan, keep it on a low or medium setting if you’ve set their crib directly underneath the fan.

Does a Fan Reduce the Risk of SIDS?

baby sleeping reducing sids

Parents, rejoice!  Ceiling fans actually do prevent the risks of SIDS or sudden infant death syndrome. While there is not a single and apparent reason for this syndrome, experts believe that it may be caused by infants overheating in their sleep. A ceiling fan keeps the air nice and fresh, lowering this risk. Another way fans help reduce the risk of SIDS is that they rid the air of harmful carbon monoxide pockets in the air.

When a baby sleeps, they are at risk of re-inhaling exhaled air trapped by their bedding or nearby relatives. This air is quite toxic to their young lungs, but thankfully leaving your ceiling fan on help them breathe more purified air.

Related Article: How to Keep the Cat out of the Crib or Nursery

Reasons Not to Use a Fan on Baby

However, some other parents may oppose the idea of a ceiling fan altogether. But as long as you’re taking these next few safety precautions, your child should be a-okay. First, make sure the cord is not dangling to where they can reach it, as this is a potential choking hazard.

You can also create a safer environment by cleaning the fan often, and ensuring that it’s not spreading around dust and pollen that can harm your baby by diminishing their room’s air quality.

You also don’t want to have their fan on full-blast. As previously stated, babies cannot regulate their temperature as well as adults can. Therefore, you want to make sure you’re not going overboard with keeping your child in a cool environment. For instance, if you have an air conditioner, keep the fan going all night, and dress them in light clothing all in the middle of December, this may be overkill.

How to Tell if Your Baby is Too Hot or Cold?

If this worries you, learn how to tell whether your newborn is too hot or too cold. You can check by touching the nape of their neck. If it is too warm to the touch, your baby may feel too hot. If their skin is cold and clammy, the inverse may be the problem — they are too cold and should be moved from the room and to a warmer spot in the house.


You no doubt want what’s best for your baby. You’re also bound to have a million questions regarding their safety, from the foods they can eat to the safety of ceiling fans. But not to worry — leaving your ceiling fan on is not a significant risk factor — it’s actually a recommended practice to keep them cool, comfy, and most importantly, safe.