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Using Vaporizers and Humidifiers - Topic Overview

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. Keep vaporizers and humidifiers out of the reach of babies and toddlers.

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) camera.gif.

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: March 12, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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