Vaporizer or humidifier

Vaporizers and humidifiers help moisten the mouth and throat when breathing the dry, heated indoor air of the winter months. The mist from a humidifier may be preferred because of the risk of burns from steam vaporizers.

A shallow pan of water in the room can substitute for a vaporizer or humidifier and avoids the hazard of mold. Be sure to keep the pan out of the reach of babies and toddlers. Do not put it on the floor or other areas where a child could fall in. A young child can drown in shallow pans of water.

If you use a vaporizer, remember to:

  • Change the water and clean the inside of the machine daily. This is important with humidifiers too.
  • Not add medicine to vaporizer water. This may cause spasms of the large breathing tubes (bronchus).

Last Updated: February 25, 2010

Author: Jan Nissl, RN, BS

Medical Review: David Messenger, MD Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine

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