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ceiling fans in nursery

Will Ceiling Fans Make Newborns Sick?

Ceiling fans are a popular and effective way to keep a room cool and improve air circulation. However, many new parents are concerned about using a ceiling fan around their newborn, worried that the fan may cause their baby to become sick.

Now, we’ll take a closer look at the risks and benefits of using a ceiling fan around a newborn, and offer some tips for keeping your baby safe and healthy.

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.

Concerns About Ceiling Fans

One of the primary concerns that new parents have about using a ceiling fan around their newborn is the risk of the fan causing colds, allergies, or other illnesses. Some people worry that the fan’s movement will cause dust and allergens to circulate in the air, or that the draft from the fan will cause the baby to become chilled.

While there is some truth to these concerns, it’s important to understand that ceiling fans themselves do not cause illness. Rather, it’s exposure to bacteria, viruses, and other pathogens that can lead to sickness. That said, it is possible that a ceiling fan could exacerbate an existing illness or allergy by circulating the offending particles through the air.

Risks Associated with Ceiling Fans

In addition to the concerns about illness and allergies, there are some other risks associated with using a ceiling fan around a newborn. One of the primary risks is dehydration, which can occur if the fan is blowing directly on the baby and causing excessive sweating. Another risk is overheating, which can happen if the baby is not dressed appropriately for the temperature in the room.

It’s also important to note that a ceiling fan could pose a risk if it is not installed correctly or if it is damaged in some way. For example, if the fan is wobbling or if the blades are loose, it could potentially fall and cause injury.

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:

Tip 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.” The AAP also recommends using a fan in combination with other measures, such as dressing the baby in lightweight clothing and using light bedding, to help maintain a comfortable temperature in the room.

Tip 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. This will help prevent the fan from blowing directly on the baby and potentially causing overheating or dehydration.

Tip 3: Turn the Fan Off When Leaving the Room

It’s important to turn the ceiling fan off when you leave the room, especially if the baby is unsupervised. This will help prevent any potential accidents or injuries that could occur if the fan falls or if the baby reaches for the fan blades.

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.

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