Vicks & Infants: Safe or Risky?

The sensation of rubbing Vicks Vaporub on our chest when we have a cold is something many of us are familiar with. However, when it comes to infants, the burning question many parents have is whether using Vicks Vaporub on their little ones is safe or risky? In this article, we will delve into this topic and provide you with some insights and tips on using Vicks safely around your baby.

Vicks & Infants: Safe or Risky?

What Is Vicks?

If you've never heard of Vaporub, where in the world have you been? For those who aren't familiar with it though, let's start by talking about what it actually is. Vick‘s produces an array of cough suppressants drugs over-the-counter like nyquil LiquiCaps Cold and Flu Nighttime Relief (, but their most well-known product globally has got to be its vapor rub for providing relief from coughs, congestion and other related symptoms related mostly in adults.

How Does It Work?

The unique scent produced by the active ingredients in Vick’s vapor rub triggers receptors that alert our bodies to increase mucus production while opening up congested airways so we can breathe more easily. Menthol happens to be one important component present which provides soothing effects primarily during harsh breathing conditions at night time .

What Are The Ingredients In VapoRub?

You might not be entirely sure what goes into making that magic ointment known as 'vapo rub', so here they are:

  • Camphor
  • Eucalyptus oil
  • Levomenthol
  • Thymol

But before you slather any old thing under your baby's nose willy-nilly; let's take a moment to step back and look at each ingredient closely!


This strong-smelling ingredient has been used for centuries to help with a wide range of ailments, including coughs and colds. In fact, it's such an effective decongestant that some people also use it as a natural insect repellent.

Eucalyptus Oil

This essential oil is particularly valuable thanks to its anti-inflammatory and decongestant properties; making it the go-to ingredient in many over-the-counter medicines designed to provide relief from coughs-related symptoms .


Also referred to as 'menthol,' this crystalline substance provides soothing sensations when applied topically. It also helps to dilate blood vessels which makes breathing common difficulties more comfortable by reducing chest congestion, especially at night when you need sleep .


Last but not least on our list is thymol. This powerful component comes from the herb thyme and acts primarily as a disinfectant and antiseptic, hence included in Vapo rub’s ingredients mixture along with menthol for better effectiveness.

Can You Use Vicks Vaporub On Infants?

Using vapor rub under your baby's nose or across their chest might seem like a good idea at first glance - those potent smelling vapours are certainly strong enough to clear anyone's sinuses out! However, according to studies carried out by doctors' groups around the world over time, infants under 2 years should avoid using any types of cough suppressants medications all together if possible. These medical professionals argue that because young children- especially infants have small air passages already developing organs or weak immunity systems inside cant process these products efficiently thereby causing various side effects or ending up being extremely harmful rather than helpful .

What Are The Risks And Effects Of Using Vicks Vaporub (or Similar Products) On An Infant?

While using vapor rub when suffering from certain respiratory tract infections may be okay even useful sometimes depending upon severity of the condition, it is strongly not advisable for infants under any conditions. Because those potent-smelling vapours could end up creating more problems by being so strong against a baby's smaller airways! Here are some of the potential risks and effects you expose your cute helpless tiny human to:

  • Possible respiratory distress
  • Inflammation in the lungs
  • Increased mucus production

Not only that but many things can occur when using such products on young children like increased sensitivity reactions rash outbreaks occurring after a few hours may also lead to severe breathing difficulties as well.

What Are The Alternatives To Using Vicks For Infants?

Don't worry if your infant has come down with something nasty - there are alternatives out there besides Vicks Vaporub which have been designated safe by most doctors’ queries . Things like staying hydrated all day long with water (whether pre-bottle feed or afterwards will keep them rehydrated) making recommended adjustments based on medical advice you received from working clinicians, give extra hugs ensure they stay comfortable during their period of sicknesses .

One alternative method in particular happens to be saline drops inside a bulb syringe which works effectively lubricating inner respiratory tracts lessening decongestion without the harsh chemical ingredients lurking in other methods

Or alternatively for soothing night sleep try this effective humidifier babies system instead providing easier relief through gentle nightly steam batches along better moisturizing dispensary catalyzing cough suppressing mechanisms around bed time! Be sure that no harm will come from these options since pediatricians usually prefer their usage due minimal harmful effects recorded!

Tips On How To Use Vapo Rub Safer Around Your Baby

Although we highly recommend anyone shouldn’t use vapo rub in youngsters, But what if its too strong for adult use? Below follow tips aid responsible application :

  1. Do spot check before placing it directly over skin surface especially face areas.
  2. Dilute it first before applying essential oils or other remedies before slathering on with levels between 1-2 percent dilution.
  3. Keep it out of reach when not in usage, to prevent accidental ingestion mainly as the rubbing activity is best suited for night time routines .
  4. Better still whenever applying from any container always use clean cotton swab for better accuracy and hygiene purposes.


In conclusion using Vicks’s vapor rub might seem like an effective way to find relief from coughing fits but avoid putting infants under two years old at risk because there's no safe way your baby will be able handle these strong chemicals circulating throughout their entire body just yet. There are plenty of alternative solutions if need be such and sticking within limits advised by doctors/clinicians while remaining vigilant all round! Always trust medical professionals recommended alternatives rather than DIY methods available online which might not only harm your child but also end up being extremely expensive in long run too !

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