Are Saunas Safe for Children?

Under adult supervision, most children can safely experience a brief session in a sauna. The core temperature of a child's body rises significantly faster than teenagers and adults. It is important parents and guardians make sure the child is hydrated and only inside the sauna for fifteen minutes or less. It is known that young children cannot handle excessive changes in heat. Based on that, sauna use is not recommended for any child under seven years old.

Lower the Temperature

Before puberty, children have a high metabolic rate, and a heightened circulation of blood. Due to their increased metabolism, there body already limits the ability to adapt easily the increased demands of the heart when sweating begins. If the heat of the child's core begins to rise too quickly, they may experience a reaction. To minimize any problems, operate the sauna at a lower temperature and always supervise your child to ensure they are following all safety precautions.

Avoid Contact Burns

Based on the design of your sauna, it is important to keep children away from the hot surfaces and elements of the heating assembly. Touching or grabbing any part of the heater can cause severe contact burns. Many late models are constructed with protective grills over the hot surfaces, as a way to avoid direct contact issues. However, accidents can happen.

Scientific Studies

The scientific studies on children and saunas are very limited. Overall, the results of their limited studies show that 10 minutes is the maximum limit for children tolerating higher heat. Older children can adapt to rising heat significantly easier than younger children can. The children in the study had their blood pressure monitored, and showed no significant change while in the sauna. However, all of them demonstrated a drop in pressure once they stepped out.

Safety Precautions

Like adults, children should always follow specific rules when using a sauna. It is important for children to rest 15 minutes after a heated bathing session, to allow time for the body to readjust. If the child takes prescription medications, it is imperative to consult with their health practitioner before any sauna experience. Some children can experience fatigue after a heat session, and experience pains, aches, or headaches.

Like adults, children should never use the sauna alone. A parent or guardian needs to remain present during the entire experience. Monitor your children when exiting the sauna room to ensure they are healthy, and provide water to each child to rehydrate.