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ceiling fans in nursery

Will Ceiling Fans Make Newborns Sick?


As new parents, it’s natural to have a plethora of questions and concerns about your newborn’s well-being.

Among the many concerns that arise, the use of ceiling fans in the baby’s room has become a topic of debate.

Some worry that the ceiling fans may be harmful to infants, while others see it as a practical way to keep the room comfortable.

So, will ceiling fans can make newborns sick?

Quick Answer

No, ceiling fans can enjoy the benefits of improved air circulation without compromising your baby’s health.

How do Ceiling fans work?

Ceiling fans are popular because they can help reduce energy costs by improving air circulation and reducing the need for air conditioning. Before we get into the specifics of using a ceiling fan around a newborn, it’s helpful to have a basic understanding of what ceiling fans are and how they work.

Ceiling fans consist of a motor that powers the fan blades, which rotate to move air around the room. There are different types of ceiling fans, including those with reversible blades, adjustable speeds, and built-in lights. Some fans are installed flush to the ceiling, while others are designed to be mounted on an extension rod.

Potential Risks of Ceiling Fans for Newborns

Dry Air and Skin Irritation

Ceiling fans can cause the air to become dry, especially in rooms with low humidity. Dry air can lead to skin dryness and irritation in newborns.

To combat this, it’s advisable to use a humidifier in conjunction with a ceiling fan. The humidifier adds moisture to the air, preventing dryness and helping to maintain healthy skin for your baby.

Excessive Cooling

Newborns are more sensitive to temperature changes than adults. If the ceiling fan is set to a high speed or the room is already cool, it can lead to excessive cooling, making your baby uncomfortable or even susceptible to colds.

It’s crucial to find the right balance and ensure the room temperature remains within a comfortable range for your newborn.

Allergen Dispersal

Ceiling fans can stir up dust and other allergens that may be present in the room. This can potentially trigger allergies or respiratory issues in newborns, who have delicate respiratory systems.

Regular dusting and cleaning of the room, including the ceiling fan blades, can help minimize allergen dispersal and create a healthier environment for your baby.

Noise Disturbance

Some newborns are sensitive to noise, especially during sleep. Ceiling fans can generate a humming or buzzing sound, which may disrupt your baby’s sleep patterns.

It’s advisable to choose a ceiling fan that operates quietly or use sound machines to mask any unwanted noise.

Benefits of Ceiling Fans

While there are certain risks associated with using a ceiling fan around a newborn, there are also many benefits. One of the primary benefits is improved air circulation, which can help keep the baby’s room cool and fresh. This can be especially important in warm climates or during the summer months.

Additionally, using a ceiling fan can help reduce energy costs by decreasing the need for air conditioning. This can be a significant benefit for families on a budget.

Tips for Using a Ceiling Fan Safely

If you do decide to use a ceiling fan around your newborn, there are certain safety measures you should take to ensure that your baby stays safe and healthy. Here are some tips to consider:

1. Set the Fan Speed and Direction

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), “If a fan is used, it should be on low speed and should be placed far enough away from the infant so that the breeze does not directly blow on the infant.”

2. Position the Crib or Bassinet Correctly

When using a ceiling fan around a newborn, it’s important to position the crib or bassinet correctly. The fan should be located at least 7 feet above the floor and at least 2 feet away from the baby’s sleeping area.

3. Dress the Baby Appropriately

Dress the baby in light, breathable clothing suitable for the room’s temperature. This will help keep them comfortable while the fan is running.

4. Clean the Fan Regularly

Frequently clean the fan blades to prevent the buildup of dust and allergens, which could be circulated in the room.

5. Consider Using a Fan Timer

Using a fan timer can help regulate the fan’s operation, ensuring it runs for specific periods and then turns off automatically.

Other Factors to Consider

In addition to using a ceiling fan safely, there are other factors that can affect a newborn’s health and comfort. For example, air quality, temperature, and humidity can all play a role in creating a safe and healthy environment for the baby.

When it comes to air quality, it’s important to keep the room free from dust, mold, and other allergens. Consider using a high-efficiency air filter or an air purifier to help remove these particles from the air. You may also want to consider using a humidifier in the winter months to help keep the air moist and comfortable for the baby.


In conclusion, using a ceiling fan around a newborn can be safe and beneficial, as long as you take the proper precautions. Remember to set the fan to a low speed and a counterclockwise direction, position the crib or bassinet correctly, and turn the fan off when leaving the room.

Additionally, be mindful of other factors that can affect the baby’s health and comfort, such as air quality and humidity. By taking these steps, you can help create a safe and comfortable environment for your newborn.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Will a ceiling fan prevent Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)?

While a ceiling fan can improve air circulation in the room, it is not a guaranteed preventive measure against SIDS. Follow other recommended safety guidelines to reduce the risk of SIDS.

Should I use a humidifier along with a ceiling fan?

Using a humidifier can help combat dry air caused by ceiling fans. It adds moisture to the room, preventing skin dryness and promoting healthy skin for your baby.

Is there an ideal fan speed for a newborn’s nursery?

It’s recommended to set the fan speed to a gentle setting to avoid excessive cooling. Monitor your baby’s comfort and adjust the speed accordingly.

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Sara Abdalla

Sara Abdalla

Sarah holds a Bachelor's degree in Child Development and her work has been featured in reputable parenting magazines, online forums, and advisory boards.

But Sarah doesn't just stop at research and expertise. As a mother of two herself, Sarah has amassed a wealth of experiences about what truly works for babies and what falls short of expectations.