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Is the Sauna Safe for Children?

October - 1 - 2015

Whether they are wet or dry, indoor or outdoor infrared saunas, it is no doubt that saunas have numerous health benefits. Moreover, saunas are a big part of family life in Finland and in many countries around the world but there are some age restrictions. Small kids are not always allowed alone in a sauna due to the fact that the sauna can pose some risks. To learn more about sauna dangers and discover whether it is safe or dangerous to let your kids use the sauna, read the next article.

Main danger: burns

This is the main danger not only for kids but also for young adults and seniors. Contact burns can happen in traditional saunas that use hot stones or a hot heater. Kids can touch or fall on the hot parts of the heater assembly in an instant, so if you are planning to invest in a home sauna, consider choosing an infrared sauna because these models are safer to use than a steam sauna. Infrared saunas are designed with grilles over the infrared heater and can not produce contact burns. As a matter of fact, infrared saunas can not get hot enough to create burns.


Overheating is another danger for children that could be easily avoided. A general rule would be to never let your kids use a sauna without your permission or by themselves. Small children can handle temperatures well and they might risk of overheating or suffering from dehydration. It’s important to check with your doctor to best determine if your children can use a sauna to treat respiratory problems or for various health concerns.

Age restrictions

Doctors and researchers all around the world recommend avoiding sauna use for children under the age of six, otherwise they might suffer from overheating, burns or dehydration. It’s not such a big danger to take your child with you in the sauna for a couple of moments, especially if the doctor allows you to, but because babies cannot express their needs very well, you need to make sure that you have a bottle of water with you nearby and avoid staying too close to the steam.

How long should children stay in a sauna?

Healthy older children can use the sauna for up to 20 minutes as long as they are under supervision with an adult who has used a sauna several times before. Small children should be allowed to use a sauna for 10 minutes or less so make sure to keep track of the time whenever you use the sauna with your child. In infrared sauna where the temperature is lower, kids can stay for longer than they would stay in a convectional sauna.

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