Is It Safe to Use Vicks Plug-In for Babies?

When it comes to your little child you always want to make sure that everything they use, touch, meet, and are surrounded by are safe and healthy. After all, a child’s immune system is much weaker in comparison to us hence they can fall sick much faster and easier in comparison to us. So, when you are choosing the right treatment to relieve your baby’s cough, you need to very careful.

Vick’s plug-ins are quite common nowadays and a lot of you might consider using them for your baby as well. So, if the question strikes in your mind whether using Vick’s plug-in for babies is a good idea or not then make sure your read it till the end as we discuss in detail this product and its side effects.

Let us first start by discussing, what is Vicks plug, how it is used, and how it works in detail.

Vicks Plug-In- Description & Use

Vick’s plug-ins are basically the same Vicks product used to relieve coughing but with a plug-in so that you can release it into the air. It is major ingredients include Menthol, camphor, and eucalyptus oil. The only difference is instead of using it in the form of an ointment and rubbing it on the chest, you plug it into an electric outlet and let it release the vapors into the air.

This is one of the easiest ways to clear up the congestion and cold. They work even when you are asleep as they pass through your nostrils and helps you fight off the cold and be fresh and light by the morning.

Is Vicks Plug-In Safe for Babies?


Vick’s plug is safe for adults because a lot of people use it, it is quite common and has been in the market for quite a few years but when it comes to talking about Vick’s plug-in for babies there are hardly any valid evidence to explain that. There has not been much research on whether it is safe or harmful for babies, that is, we do not enough data to prove either of these possibilities.

Although it is great for giving your baby a sound sleep, it is suggested not to use it on babies under 2 years. We will tell you why, according to a study conducted in 2010, Vick’s plug-ins are a good remedy, and they act almost instantly on your child’s cold symptoms. However, this study was only meant for kids above 2 years of age and not below that. This study that says nothing about the use of Vicks plug-in for babies.

Vicks Advanced Soothing Vapors Waterless Vaporizer with Night Light and VapoPads to Help Relieve...
  • VICKS VAPORIZER & VAPOPADS: Plug the Vicks Waterless Vaporizer into an outlet & enjoy soothing Vicks vapor with a non-medicated menthol scent. This...
  • VICKS VAPORIZERS FOR KIDS, ADULTS: This waterless vaporizer helps add a soothing scented vapor into the air. Many women & men find that a vaporizer or...
  • SOOTHING VAPOR: When you or your kid has a cold, it can be difficult to sleep through the night. This waterless vaporizer releases soothing,...
  • VICKS VAPORIZERS, HUMIDIFIERS, & STEAM INHALERS: Steam & humidity offer temporary relief from cough & congestion due to colds or allergies. Other...

However, there is another study based in the UK on the same subject where it is suggested that using Vick’s plug-in for babies is harmful because it contains menthol. Babies have very narrow airways and if their body recognizes menthols as an irritant then it will cause severe damages to their respiratory system. But again, the authenticity of this study is not very clear.

So, whether it is safe to directly use Vick’s plug-in for babies is still not clear. However, when you are dealing with infants it is always better to be on the safe side.

There are also a few myths regarding using Vick’s plug-in for babies, let us check what they are.

Vick’s Plug-In for Babies Myths

Using the Vicks Plug-In in A Different Room

A lot of parents believe this, and it is not just in the case of Vicks plug-in but for most things that if their child is not coming in direct contact with something then they are safe from it. That is not the case with Vick’s plug-in, after all the medication is being released into the air, and you cannot control air, can you?

So, if you think that you will put the Vicks plug in a room and make your baby sleep in a different room so that the light dose of the medication can reach your baby through the air and help them sleep peacefully then you are wrong. Even a small dose of menthol Is enough to irritate your baby’s respiratory tract and can cause a lot of damage.

There might be some parents you know who claim to have used this technique with their child and did not face any adverse effects. Well, let us just say they got lucky, and the menthol did not irritate their baby’s body. However, when you are dealing with babies, we do not think that this is a chance that you should take.

2. Using the Plug-In Only For A Few Hours

Another popular belief that a lot of parents have is that if they use it only for a couple of hours and put the device in the adjacent room it will not harm their baby. This too is a very wrong notion, even if it is for a couple of hours, babies and their respiratory tracts are not strong enough to bear the menthol and peppermint.

These ingredients just do no suit their body, so whether it is for the whole night or a few hours and whether the plug-in is right in their room, or a different room- it does not matter because even a little dose of the menthol is not good for your baby’s health.

Now a lot of you might still want to try it based on hearing the stories of a few parents you might know who have already used this method but let us be clear here if the dose is not strong enough to harm your baby and your baby’s respiratory system then it is also not strong enough to treat their cold.

In that case, your Vicks plug-in not doing any good, it is simply going to waste. Do not expose your baby to these medications even for a short duration of time, it will have a bad impact on them in the long run and can also lead to increased production of mucus.

Side Effects of Using Vicks Plug-In on Babies

Mom and Baby

Now that we know why we should not use Vick’s plug-in for babies, let us dig a little deeper into this and find out what are the possible side effects that Vick’s plug-in has on babies-

  1. Increases Mucus – As we already discussed before, instead of relieving your baby of the cold and mucus, Vick’s plug-in can increase the mucus production and hence cause more discomfort to your baby.
  2. Inflamed Nostril – If a certain element is recognized as an irritant by your baby’s body, then your baby’s body will automatically prepare itself to repel it, and that is why if your baby inhales the menthol or the peppermint in the Vicks plug-in there are high chances that your baby’s nostril will constrict itself to narrow the airway. This can also lead to inflamed nostrils which will only make the symptoms of a cold that your baby was already having even worse.
  3. Difficulty in Breathing – With excess mucus and narrow and constricted nostrils (Along with inflammation) it will obviously make it difficult for that little, tiny being to breathe. The oxygen flow will be reduced resulting in your baby facing severe respiratory problems that might require immediate medical attention.

Remember, the thing with Vick’s plug-in is that your baby can either face no side effect at all and do completely fine with the Vicks plug-in or he or she can suffer side-effects ranging from mild to severe to an extent that you might have to provide immediate medical attention. That is why, when it comes to babies or for that matter any living being, we do not recommend taking a risk like this.

So now, what can you do instead? After all, your child has a cold and you need to do something to help him or her sleep peacefully at night, right?

Other Options to Use Instead of a Vicks Plug-In


We are sure if your baby has a cold and you have consulted a doctor then the doctor has prescribed some medicine to cure it so basically what you are looking for is extra help to ensure that your baby sleeps peacefully, in that case using a humidifier is a great option.

Humidifiers simply adds moisture to the air which helps in melting away the excess mucus that is clogging your baby’s nose and making it difficult for them to breathe. After that, you will have to keep a tissue ready to wipe off the snot from your baby’s nose which will be flowing out quite frequently due to the humidifier but at least, your baby will be able to sleep and breathe peacefully.

Saline Drops

These are another great option to get rid of the excess mucus from your baby’s nose. Just put one or two drops of this in your baby’s nose and very soon you will the mucus flowing out of your baby’s nose in the form of snot. This process might look a little messy, but it is a great way to unclog an infant’s blocked nose and help them sleep peacefully.

Vick’s Humidifier

Although Vicks plug-in is not good for your baby, using a Vicks humidifier is a great investment. It does the job of a normal humidifier provided you do not put in Vicks vapopads inside it. Understand the difference, Vick’s humidifier is just like a regular humidifier but when you put Vicks vapopads in it, the problem is once again the same. You need to avoid the Vicks medication, that is the menthol, the humidifier without the medication is safe to use.

Vicks Mini Filter-Free Cool Mist Humidifier, Small Room, .5 Gallon Tank, Blue – Visible Humidifier...
  • FILTER-FREE COOL MIST HUMIDIFER – Vicks Mini Cool Mist Humidifier is an essential part of a good night’s sleep when family members are sick,...
  • QUICK AND EASY TO USE – Vicks filter-free humidifiers don’t require replacement filters With a 5 gallon tank, you can enjoy a visible cool mist...
  • COUGH AND CONGESTION RELIEF – Filterless humidifiers for the home can be helpful during cold and flu season, when it’s difficult to sleep with a...
  • HUMIDIFIERS FOR BEDROOM AND MORE – A cool mist humidifier is great for a baby, young children and adults, and fits perfectly into any room Use them...

Now if not Vicks vapopads then what should you put in the humidifier? Here are a few options that you can choose from-

  1. Distilled Water – You can use distilled water in the humidifier instead of Vicks vapopads because distilled water being low on minerals ensures that our child is breathing in one of the purest and cleanest forms of air. It helps in clearing out the congestion quite effectively and relieves your child from the annoying clogged nose.
  2. Essential Oil – Another great option apart from distilled water is to use essential oils. You will need specially designed humidifiers for this that are equipped to release essential oils in the air. Just make sure you do not use something that will irritate your child, especially peppermint oil. Peppermint oil has the same effect as menthol and will only worsen the blocked nose condition that your baby is facing.

However, you can use some other soothing oils like Lavender, Mandarin, Chamomile, etc. Just make sure that the room is well ventilated to prevent suffocation.

Vicks Vapo Rub Is Great and Safe to Use

Blocked Baby's Nose

Instead of using Vick’s plug-in for babies, use Vicks vaporub. The main problem with Vick’s plug-in is that it contains menthol. This is that one ingredient that irritates your baby’s respiratory tract. So, if you have tried everything and yet nothing seems to work, opt for Vicks Vaporub.

Unlike the Vicks plug-in, Vicks vaporub does not contain menthol, in fact, that petroleum jelly contains essential oils like lavender and rosemary and is specially made for infants to relieve them from the clogged nose and help them sleep better.

So, this was all that you needed to know about Vick’s plug-in and if you should use Vick’s plug-in for babies Make sure that whatever option you choose it should not be a replacement for doctor’s advice. Regardless of the information you get online, you should not replace that with expert medical advice and all this information provided by us is to aid the medicines provided to your baby by an expert and help them sleep better.

It is not an alternative option. Also, just reminding you once again that using Vicks Plug-in for babies is not a good idea. We hope you enjoyed reading this article and whatever doubts you had were cleared. However, if you have any further queries, feel free to reach out to us in the comment section below!

Leave a Comment