Monday, November 28, 2005

Cool Mist Humidifiers

By Christina VanGinkel

With winter here and many of us focused on the holidays, especially those of us with children in the house, we often overlook one of the simplest ways to keep our family members in good health. I was reminded of this last year, about this same time between Thanksgiving and Christmas, when I myself ended up in the emergency room, sure that I had strep throat, fearful that I did, because I had just spent the previous evening babysitting my grandson.

I had woke the morning after watching him with a very irritated throat and nasal passages, which quickly progressed to one of the worst sore throats I had ever had. I would normally have called our family physician, but it was a Sunday, so I headed to the after hours clinic at our local hospital.

I did not have strep, but I had an extremely irritated throat and a sinus infection, which was treated with antibiotics and the recommendation that I purchase a cool mist humidifier if I did not already have one in the house. I did not, and took the physician's advice and purchased one before I even headed home, as I had to stop at the pharmacy located in our local Wal-Mart to fill my prescription anyways.

As I thought about what the doctor had said, I realized how drying this time of year could be on a person. With furnaces running at full blast, evergreens gracing our homes, and colds and the flu as prominent as they are during these months, moisture put back into the air we breathe in our homes through a cool mist vaporizer could go a long way towards keeping our, and our children's health, at as healthy a level as possible. Moisture put into the air in this manner keeps a person's nasal passages working properly, helping to keep airborne contaminants out.

While many of us will use a hot mist vaporizer once we are ill, we avoid using them long term, one reason being the risk of burns to small children. With a cool mist humidifier, this risk is diminished. Though a child should not be left unattended by any type of vaporizer or humidifier, a cool mist one can be much safer in the home than a hot mist one.

I purchased a Vicks 1.2 Gallon Cool Mist Humidifier, which comes with a replaceable wick that doubles as a trap for impurities. Large enough that one fill lasts twenty-four hours in my bedroom where I placed it, (Depending on the size of the room you use it in, the number of hours between fillings will vary), though when I placed it in the living room it actually used up two tanks within the same time period. The product states that one fill last twelve hours, and it has three speeds. I will warn you though, that the highest speed can be a bit noisy, but when it is on either of the other two settings, it runs relatively quietly.

If you have small children in your home, even sporadically as I do with my grandson, I would recommend the use of a cool mist vaporizer during the upcoming winter months. I replaced my filter and plugged mine back in weeks ago, hoping to avoid a trip to the doctors office or clinic this year. You can order one quickly and conveniently right here at, just click on Humidifiers, or type it in the search box, and you will soon be on your way to easier, healthier breathing during the current dry months we so fondly call winter.

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