Recently my cousins and their children came for a visit. We all had a great time, enjoyed several day trips and played lots of catch in the backyard. They noticed my daily habit of an evening sauna and asked if they could join me. Not really certain of the safety of Far Infrared sauna heat on kids younger than twelve, I decided to investigate. What I discovered is both surprising and very interesting. Most of the general research reports revolve around traditional steam saunas. These are conventional saunas and produce high-temperatures. Because lower temperatures are involved in Far Infrared saunas, kids can be expected to feel more comfortable in them. Remember, though, that a child’s internal temperature will still rise in a Far Infrared sauna, so don’t have them stay in any longer than you would for a conventional sauna. It would be best to actually take the Far Infrared sauna with the child, then after the age of twelve, simply monitor their usage.
Most children can safely enjoy a brief sauna session. I recall going into a traditional sauna, as a child with my parents, at their local gym. I also remember how hot it was. It made my teeth hurt! I ended up exiting sooner than they did due to the extreme and really uncomfortable heat. Research suggests that until puberty, children are unable to regulate their body temperature through proper sweat production as efficiently as adults. This means that children under the age of twelve can become overheated and require adult supervision. However, due to the lower temperatures in Far Infrared saunas most kids easily tolerate and even enjoy the many benefits associated with it’s use.
It is not a good idea for babies or very young children to use a Far Infrared sauna. The author of Sauna Therapy for Detoxification and Healing, Lawrence Wilson, MD, recommends avoiding sauna use for kids under the age of six. It is perfectly safe to carry a child into a Far Infrared sauna with you for a few moments however small children and babies cannot vocalize discomfort specifically and cannot handle temperature extremes either. Healthy older children and adolescents can use the sauna with supervision from an adult who is experienced in Far Infrared sauna use. How long a child can stay in the sauna depends on the individual and expert recommendations suggest keeping the sauna session to less than ten to fifteen minutes. If you choose to bring your kids into the Far Infrared sauna with you from time to time, you might want to think about buying a larger sauna. This is due to the necessity to keep your sweat to yourself. Remember sweat is full of toxins being eliminated from your body. There simply is not room in a small sauna for one or more people to fit inside without sweating all over each other.
When using your sauna with children operate your Far Infrared sauna at a lower temperature and for no more than fifteen minutes at a time. The rule of thumb is one minute per year of age for the child enjoying the warm, infrared heat. All kids need to be accompanied by an adult and remember to keep them hydrated. Also, just to be certain, it is always a great idea to consult your child’s health practitioner prior to beginning any Far Infrared sauna therapy. That said, taking a Far Infrared sauna together can also be a lot of fun!