Is It Safe to Burn Candles Around Babies?

Babies, including newborns and toddlers, are a bundle of joy that needs a cozy atmosphere. One way to achieve this is by lighting candles or air fresheners around the house. However, have you ever stopped to think about whether it is safe to burn scented candles or air fresheners around babies?

As much as candles and air fresheners can create an ambiance that is soothing and relaxing with their scents, they also pose potential risks when used around infants and toddlers. Babies and young children are more vulnerable to respiratory problems caused by fragrance smoke due to their underdeveloped lungs. The chemicals released from burning candles and air fresheners can also be harmful to their health.

It is crucial for parents or caregivers to always take precautions when burning candles or using air fresheners with scents around toddlers. It’s not just about the fragrance of the candle or air freshener; it’s also about ensuring that your toddler stays healthy and safe.

So let’s dive into it!

is it safe to burn candles around babies: Risks and Dangers

Harmful Chemicals Released by Candles

Burning scented candles can release harmful chemicals such as lead and benzene, which can be dangerous for babies with allergies. Lead is a toxic metal that can cause developmental problems in children, while benzene is a known carcinogen that can cause cancer. These chemicals are released when candles are lit for light, and they can accumulate in the air over time. Babies need clean air to breathe, and when they inhale this polluted air, it can have negative effects on their health.

To avoid exposing your baby to harmful chemicals, it’s best to limit burning scented candles like Yankee candles around them. Instead, choose unscented candles made from natural materials like beeswax or soy wax, which do not release toxic fumes when burned. Another option is to use electric candles as they do not produce any fumes.

Respiratory Issues in Babies

Babies have underdeveloped lungs compared to adults and are more susceptible to respiratory issues. The smoke, soot, and scents produced by burning candles can irritate their delicate respiratory systems and trigger asthma attacks or other breathing difficulties. Prolonged exposure to these pollutants and scents may also increase the risk of developing respiratory infections such as bronchitis or pneumonia.

If you want to burn scented candles around your baby, make sure the room is well-ventilated. Open windows or use an air purifier to reduce indoor pollution levels. It’s also essential to keep your baby away from direct contact with the smoke or fumes produced by the candle.

Choking Hazard

Candle wicks can break off and become a choking hazard for babies if they get hold of them. Even if you keep candles out of reach of your baby, they may still find ways to access them through crawling or climbing. Swallowing small pieces of wick could cause choking or blockages in their digestive system.

To prevent choking hazards from candles, never leave lit candles unattended around babies. Always extinguish them before leaving the room or going to bed. You can also choose candles with thicker, braided wicks that are less likely to break off.

Fire Hazards

Flames from candles can cause burns or start fires if not monitored properly. Babies are curious and may touch or play with the flames, leading to accidental burns. They may also knock over candles, causing them to ignite nearby objects like curtains or bedding.

To prevent fire hazards around babies, always keep candles out of reach and away from flammable materials. Use candle holders that are stable and won’t tip over easily. Never leave lit candles unattended, even for a short time.

Skylar Baldry’s Warning: The Importance of Proper Candle Usage After a Fire Incident

Improper candle usage can lead to fire hazards. From 2014 to 2018, candles caused around 7,610 home fires in the US annually, resulting in 81 deaths, 677 injuries, and $278 million in property damage. One tragic example is the case of Skylar Baldry, a child who lost her life in a house fire caused by an unattended candle. This heartbreaking incident highlights the importance of using candles safely, especially around babies and young children.

Safety Precautions for Using Candles Around Babies

Considering the risks and dangers associated with burning candles around babies, it is advisable to take the following safety precautions:

  1. Limit candle burning: Minimize the use of candles in areas where your baby spends significant time. Consider using alternative lighting options like dimmer switches, nightlights, or LED candles that don’t produce smoke or open flames.
  2. Choose natural and non-toxic candles: When using candles, opt for those made from natural materials like beeswax or soy wax. These candles are free from harmful chemicals and emit fewer toxins when burned.
  3. Ensure proper ventilation: Keep the room well-ventilated by opening windows or using fans. This helps to dissipate any smoke or pollutants generated by the candles.
  4. Keep candles out of reach: Place candles in areas where your baby cannot reach or grab them. Use stable candle holders and ensure they are placed on a secure surface to prevent accidental tipping.
  5. Never leave candles unattended: Always extinguish candles before leaving the room or going to bed. It only takes a moment for an accident to occur, so it’s crucial to stay vigilant and never leave a burning candle unattended.
  6. Use flameless alternatives: Consider using flameless candles or diffusers with essential oils to create a similar ambiance without the risks associated with open flames.
  7. Educate older children: If you have older children in the house, teach them about the potential dangers of candles and the importance of responsible candle usage to ensure everyone’s safety.
  8. Ensure candle safety and stability with sturdy glass or metal candle holders for paraffin wax candles, electric candles, beeswax candles, and unscented candles. Prioritize stability to prevent tipping or wobbling. Avoid lightweight materials like plastic. Choose votive candle holders that provide a snug fit to prevent accidents. Combine safety with style by selecting aesthetically pleasing designs. Create a secure and visually appealing ambiance for your candle displays.

Remember, the safety and well-being of your baby should always be the top priority. While candles can add a cozy atmosphere, it’s essential to assess the risks and take necessary precautions to ensure a safe environment for your little one.

Safe Candle Options for Babies and Toddlers

What Candles are Safe for Babies?

Candles can create a cozy and relaxing atmosphere in any room, butSafety should always be the top priority. Paraffin candles, which are made from petroleum-based wax, can release harmful chemicals into the air that can be dangerous for babies and toddlers. Scented candles may also contain synthetic fragrances that can irritate a baby’s sensitive skin and respiratory system.

So what kind of candles are safe for babies? The best option is to choose natural candles made from soy or beeswax. Soy candles are made from natural soy wax, which is derived from soybeans. They burn clean and do not release harmful chemicals into the air. Beeswax candles are another natural option that burns clean and does not release toxins into the air.

When choosing a candle for your baby’s nursery or playroom, make sure to look for ones with cotton wicks instead of lead wicks. Lead wicks have been banned in the United States since 2003, but some imported candles may still contain them.

Safe Candle Alternatives

If you’re concerned about burning candles around your baby or toddler, there are flameless alternatives available that eliminate the risk of fire. Electric candles come in a variety of shapes and sizes and provide a warm glow without any flames or smoke. They’re also reusable, making them an eco-friendly option.

Another alternative is to use essential oil diffusers or candles to create a soothing atmosphere in your home. Unscented candles, soy candles, beeswax candles, and paraffin wax candles are all great options. Essential oils are derived from plants and offer therapeutic benefits such as relaxation and stress relief.

Tips for Burning Candles Safely Around Babies

If you do choose to burn candles around your baby or toddler, there are some important safety tips to keep in mind:

  • Always keep lit candles out of reach of children.
  • Never leave a lit candle unattended.
  • Make sure candles are placed on a stable surface away from flammable objects.
  • Trim the wick to ¼ inch before each use of your beeswax candles, soy candles, or unscented candles to prevent the flame from getting too large and melting excess candle wax.
  • Extinguish candles before leaving the room or going to bed.

Potential Harmful Effects of Scented Candles and Wax Melts on Babies

Scented candles and wax melts may contain harmful contaminants such as artificial perfumes and paraffin wax that can be dangerous for babies.

Many people turn to scented candles or wax melts to fill their homes with pleasant smells. However, these products can also release harmful chemicals into the air that can be particularly dangerous for babies.

One of the biggest concerns is paraffin wax, which is commonly used in scented candles and wax melts. Paraffin is a petroleum byproduct that releases toxins when burned, including benzene and toluene. These toxins have been linked to various health issues, including cancer, respiratory problems, and developmental disorders.

Artificial perfumes are another concern, especially for those who enjoy burning candles. Many fragrances used in candle wax and soy candles contain phthalates, which are chemicals that help the scent last longer but can also disrupt hormones in the body. Phthalates have been linked to reproductive issues, asthma, allergies, and even behavioral problems in children.

To avoid these harmful contaminants around your baby, consider using natural alternatives like beeswax or soy wax candles instead of ones made from paraffin. Beeswax is a natural substance that burns cleanly without releasing toxins into the air. Soy wax is also a safer option as it is made from renewable resources like soybeans rather than petroleum.

Fragrances used in scented candles and wax melts can cause respiratory problems in babies, especially those with asthma or allergies.

Fragrances used in scented candles and wax melts can also cause respiratory problems for babies. This is especially true for infants who are already at risk due to conditions like asthma or allergies.

The strong smells of some fragrances can irritate an infant’s delicate airways leading to coughing fits or even asthma attacks. Some fragrances contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that can cause headaches, dizziness, and nausea.

If you want to burn candles around your baby, consider using unscented options or ones made with natural fragrances like essential oils. Essential oils are derived from plants and offer a safer alternative to synthetic fragrances. However, it’s important to note that not all essential oils are safe for babies. Some oils can be irritating or even toxic if ingested or applied directly to the skin. Always do your research before using essential oils around your baby.

It is safer to burn candles made of natural wax like beeswax or soy wax around babies as they do not emit harmful chemicals in the air.

As mentioned earlier, natural wax alternatives like beeswax or soy wax candles are safer options for burning around babies. These waxes do not release harmful chemicals into the air when burned, making them a healthier choice for your home.

Beeswax is a particularly good option as it is hypoallergenic and has natural air-purifying properties. It emits negative ions when burned that can help neutralize pollutants in the air like dust and pollen. Soy wax is also a great alternative as it burns cleanly without releasing toxins into the air.

When shopping for natural wax candles, make sure to read labels carefully and look for products made with 100% pure beeswax or soy wax. Some manufacturers may mix these waxes with other substances that could still release harmful chemicals when burned.

Avoiding Certain Types of Candles When Around Babies and Young Children

Unscented Candles are the Way to Go

It’s essential to be mindful of the kind of candles you’re using. Scented candles, air fresheners, perfumes, and essential oils can trigger allergies and asthma attacks in children. Therefore, it is best to opt for unscented candles made of unbleached cotton wicks instead.

Paraffin candles release harmful chemicals like benzene and toluene that can cause respiratory problems in children. The chemicals released by paraffin candles can lead to a range of health conditions such as asthma, lung cancer, or even neurological damage. According to a study conducted by South Carolina State University, paraffin wax releases toxic fumes when burned that can be detrimental to human health.

Unscented candles made from natural materials like soy wax or beeswax are an excellent alternative for those who want to enjoy candlelight without any adverse effects on their health. These types of candles burn cleaner than traditional paraffin wax candles and do not emit harmful toxins into the environment.

Chemical-Free Alternatives for Your Nursery

The nursery is one place where parents should take extra care when choosing products that come into contact with their child. Aerosols and other chemical-based products can be harmful to a child’s health if inhaled regularly. Instead of using these products, consider natural alternatives like aromatherapy diffusers or plants.

Aromatherapy diffusers are an excellent way to create a relaxing environment in your baby’s room without exposing them to harmful chemicals. Essential oils like lavender or chamomile have calming properties that can help soothe your baby when they’re feeling fussy or having trouble sleeping.

Plants are also an excellent addition to any nursery as they purify the air naturally. NASA conducted a study on indoor plants and found that certain species can remove toxins from the air, making it cleaner and safer for children to breathe. Some of the best plants for purifying the air include spider plants, peace lilies, and snake plants.

Summary of How to Keep Your Baby Safe While Enjoying Candles

Burning candles around babies can be dangerous, but there are ways to enjoy candles safely while keeping your little ones protected. We also provided precautions and recommendations for safely using candles around babies, such as keeping them out of reach and never leaving them unattended.

We explored safe candle options for babies and toddlers, including unscented and soy-based candles. We also discussed the potential harmful effects of scented candles and wax melts on babies, as well as certain types of candles to avoid when around young children.

To ensure your baby’s safety while enjoying candles at home, it’s important to follow these guidelines carefully. Always keep an eye on burning candles and never leave them unattended. Keep them out of reach from curious hands or paws by placing them on high surfaces or using protective barriers like candle holders or lanterns.

Remember that not all candles are created equal. Opt for unscented or soy-based varieties instead of heavily fragranced ones that may contain harmful chemicals. And if you’re unsure about a particular candle’s safety around babies or young children, it’s always better to err on the side of caution.

In conclusion, with proper precautions and safe practices in place, you can enjoy burning candles at home without putting your baby at risk. So go ahead and light those wicks – just make sure you’re doing so safely!


Q: Are there any specific types of scented candles that are safe for use around babies?

A: It is generally recommended to avoid heavily fragranced candles when burning them around infants or young children. However, if you do choose to burn scented candles in your home with a baby present, opt for natural or essential oil-based fragrances instead of synthetic ones that may contain harmful chemicals.

Q: Can I burn candles in my baby’s nursery?

A: It is not recommended to burn candles in your baby’s nursery due to the potential fire hazard and risk of injury. Instead, consider using flameless candles or diffusing essential oils for a similar ambiance without the risks.

Q: How can I tell if a candle is safe to use around babies?

A: Look for candles that are labeled as “non-toxic,” “all-natural,” or “soy-based.” Avoid heavily fragranced varieties and always keep them out of reach from curious hands or paws.

Q: Can wax melts be harmful to babies?

A: Wax melts can emit harmful chemicals when heated, so it’s best to avoid burning them around infants or young children. Opt for other types of non-toxic candles instead.

Q: What should I do if my baby accidentally ingests candle wax?

A: If your baby ingests candle wax, contact your pediatrician immediately. Depending on the amount ingested and the type of wax, medical attention may be necessary.

Q: Are there any alternative ways to enjoy candles without burning them around babies?

A: Yes! Consider using flameless LED candles or diffusing essential oils for a similar ambiance without the risks associated with burning traditional candles.

Q: Is it safe to leave a candle burning while I’m asleep in the same room as my baby?

A: No, it is never safe to leave a burning candle unattended – especially when there is a baby in the room. Always extinguish all flames before leaving the room or going to sleep.