Are Vicks Vaporizers Safe for Babies?

Your children may have many health issues including skin problems. To deal with it, there are many types of ointment out there to treat skin fungal and some of them are great for treating colds. The common cold is a very common disease for babies. And it is a real problem, especially for newborn babies. The parents get very tense for obvious reasons. A quick solution that comes to mind is the Vicks VapoRub. But at the same time, the concern arises, are Vicks vaporizers safe for babies?

This ointment can be used by rubbing on the body of the baby as well as by letting the baby inhale it. And one study showed that this product works for children’s cough, sleeping problems, and congestion. However, no matter how helpful it is, it shouldn’t be used on children under 2 years of age.

Vicks vaporizer is a good quick remedy for the common cold in children. But doctors strongly prohibit its usage on children that are not 2 years old. It can have a negative impact on them. We will discuss the topic in detail to answer all your questions. 

Are Vicks Vaporizers Harmful for Babies?

Vicks VapoRub is an oil-based mentholated ointment that is applied on the chest, throat, and back to get rid of common cold problems. This can also be inhaled with steam. But it can also be inhaled without hot steam. So, if you apply it to very young babies it can get into their system and cause some problems.

Although the ointment is proved to be effective against cough and congestion, in babies younger than 2 years old it can have opposite effects. This substance can block the airways in the baby’s respiratory system by producing too much mucus. And this will lead to congestion for the baby. 

But if it is used on babies older than 2 years, it actually helps them get rid of their cold-related problems. The ingredients used in it help reduce congestion and get rid of cold suppression. They make special formulas for children without the camphor making it safe for them.

So, Vicks vaporizers are not actually harmful to babies if you don’t apply them on very young ones. The reasons we mentioned are,

Are Vicks Vaporizers Safe for Babies
Are Vicks Vaporizers Safe for Babies

Safe for babies over 2 years

The ointment has some ingredients in it that actually help to get rid of the common cold. Eucalyptus oil and menthol help to get rid of cold suppression. Turpentine oil works to reduce congestion. So, if it is used on children that are over 2 years old, it is not only safe but also effective against cold.

Special formula for babies

They make special Vick BabyRub formula for babies over 3 months old. And they claim it to be safe for the babies. They avoid using camphor in this formula. So, it is safe for babies. You can use it on babies over 3 months instead of the VapoRub which is for babies over 2 years old.

How to properly use Vaporizers Safely for Babies?

This process is very simple, nothing confusing. A few very straightforward steps will get the job done. The steps are as follows.

Fill the water container

  • The first step. Fill up the water container that will create the steam.
  • Fill it to the maximum level.

Add the VapoSteam

  • Now for the medicine to be applied.
  • Take enough VapoSteam in a cup and pour it directly into the water.

Adjust the vaporizer

  • Now that everything is in its respective place, you can place the vaporizer into its position.

Turn on the vaporizer

  • This is the last step. So,  plug in the machine.
  • Finally, turn it on and wait for the steam mixed with VapSteam to generate.
  • The baby should be in the right position to inhale the vapor created by the vaporizer.

Precaution to take while using Vics Vaporizers

  • The first precaution, do not forget to tell all your health care providers about your usage of this product. You must tell your doctors, pharmacists, dentists, and nurses.
  • This is a product for external usage and inhalation but not for swallowing. So, if you swallow it by mistake you should consult your doctor.
  • If it doesn’t work for your problem and the problem gets worse, do not keep quiet. Consult your doctor.
  • This thing has the possibility of catching on fire. So, don’t use it near any open flame.
  • Now a very important precaution. If you are a pregnant woman or you plan on getting pregnant, you must let your doctor know about this medicine. Ask the doctor if you can use it safely or not.
  • The next precaution is for breastfeeding mothers. As we have mentioned earlier this many babies cannot use this product. So, make sure if it is alright for the mother to use it or it will cause problems to the child.
  • You can only breathe it in vapor form. Follow the instructions.
  • Avoid heating or microwaving.
  • Stay at a certain distance from the vaporizers. Do not inhale it from too close.
  • Do not let it get into your eyes. If it does somehow then rinse with lots of clean water. If anything occurs immediately consult your doctor.

Some myths about Vaporizers using for babies 

  • A common myth is it is not at all safe for babies. 
  • We have discussed this topic in detail to show that it’s wrong.
  • There is no doubt that this product has some benefits against cold, congestion. And it also works for babies. 
  • It is true that doctors have suggested that Vicks vaporizers shouldn’t be applied to babies under 2 years of age. But it is safe for babies that are 2 years old or even older.
  • And their BabyRub is specially made for children over 3 months old. And they claim it to be safe for the babies. 
  • BabyRub doesn’t contain camphor making it safer for babies.
  • Another myth is that Vicks BabyRub is harmful to the sensitive skin of a baby.
  • But the manufacturers claim that this product has been prepared after consulting a skin specialist. And it is safe for baby skin.
  • People sometimes think the Vicks BabyRub to be a lotion. But it is not a lotion. It is a medicine and an ointment.
  • The difference is that you can apply lotion in a great amount. But this product is to be used moderately as suggested.

Do vaporizers work for babies?

It definitely does. One study showed that it is effective against children’s cough, congestion and even sleeping problems. But an important thing to keep in mind is the doctors strictly prohibit using the Vicks vaporizers on babies that are not 2 years old.

If we take a look at the elements the product contains, we will understand more clearly how it works even for babies. There is eucalyptus oil and menthol in it that help to get rid of the cough. Then the turpentine oil reduces congestion for babies. Cedarwood oil works as an antiseptic and nutmeg works against insomnia. 


So, are Vicks vaporizers safe for babies? The answer is yes if your baby is over the age of 2. This product has been proven to be effective against cough, congestion, and sleeping problems. You can either apply it by rubbing on your baby or letting your baby inhale the vapor created by the Vicks Vaporizer.

The vaporizer is very easy to use. Follow our instructions to get it running. And most importantly read and follow all the precautions that have been mentioned above. Do not use the vaporizer on children under 2 years of age. You can use BabyRub if your baby is over 3 months old. 

Being careful with your baby is very important. No doubt Vicks VapoRub, VapoSteam, or BabyRub are great quick solutions to common cold-related problems. But do not create bigger problems using the wrong product. Consult your doctor before using anything on your precious one. 

Sarah, a health writer and editor since 2014, is an adoring wife and dedicated mother to 2 daughters and 1 son. As the creator of Babies Plannet, she combines her extensive expertise with her maternal dedication to provide essential care and safety advice for infants, nurturing their well-being and happiness. Her writing explores topics like fitness, pregnancy, and women's healthy lifestyles.

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