Can Kids use the Sauna? What You Need to Know – icon

Can Kids use the Sauna? What You Need to Know Before Allowing Them in the Sauna

mom holding kid in sauna

There is little research about Sauna's health effects on children. Finnish families are used to taking a sauna bath at least once a week, so you could claim that Finnish children are very used to saunas. 

here is no scientific evidence against having a child (older than one year old) in a sauna. However, it is essential to remember that they should only be allowed in the Sauna if they are toilet trained. 

Studies regarding Sauna and children

The Finnish Sauna Society surveyed Finland in the late 1980s. The study revealed that one in four children over 13 enjoyed taking a sauna bath for more than 15 minutes.


After all, Finland is a nation of 5.3 million people and 3.3 million saunas, found in homes, offices, factories, sports centers, hotels, and more. Overall, the results showed children enjoyed the Sauna experience. 


However, 19% said they experienced mild nausea, headaches, dizziness, fever, and heart palpitations. 


On the other hand, those aged 13 and over reported having an excellent night's sleep after taking a sauna. 


Since a child's body is still developing, its temperature control doesn't work as well as an adult's. This means that they are more prone to overheating than an adult.


kids in sauna

What happens to a kid's body in the Sauna   

When you are in the Sauna, blood flow increases; in children under five years, they could experience a sharp rise in their heart's pumping power due to their less developed circulatory system. 


When children are seven years or older, the increase is considerably lower. 

The increase is considerably lower when the child is seven years or older. While cooling down after or between sauna visits, children's blood pressure may fall slowly, and, as a result, the child may experience transient dizziness. However, these symptoms pass quickly and are not dangerous for healthy children. 

Essential things to keep in mind with children in the Sauna  

  • One accompanying adult should be in the sauna per child to react quickly if they feel unwell.
  • Heat can have a more substantial physical effect on children than on adults. This is why children should only be in the sauna for a short time, especially at the beginning – 3 minutes is more than enough. And not too often – 2 visits to the sauna are enough.
  • The lowest bench is the one recommended for children. The sauna is not quite as hot here.
  • To cool down, children should stand briefly under then cold and then under the warm rain shower. The temperature difference should not be extreme.
  • Children should not have eaten 2 – 3 hours before visiting the sauna as the strain on the body can otherwise be too great, resulting in nausea.
  • The child must stay hydrated; always make sure they drink water before and after visiting the Sauna.

girl on sauna pouring water in rocks

3 Tips for Taking a Sauna With Children  

Don't leave the kids unsupervised

Saunas are a place where accidents can happen quickly, like burns, slips, and falls. You should always be aware of these hazards and accompany them till they show responsibility and respect for the rules.
The best way for kids to learn is through your example. Besides, saunas together make for quality family time.

Consider your kid's age

Generally, kids under eight years of age can't regulate heat as efficiently, so precautions must be safe in the Sauna. Limit the heat exposure and limit the steam to a minimum. Always remember to keep them hydrated, always have in hand cool water in a bucket so they can play with or sit in and splash themselves to cool off as needed.


Regulate their time in the Sauna 

Again, the heat regulation centers of the body aren't as developed in young kids, so children should spend less time in the Sauna than you. Limit their time exposure by age, 3-5 minutes for under three years, up to 15 minutes till they are in their mid-teens. Older kids may want to leave the Sauna to cool with a shower or cold plunge and repeat the sauna cycle. 


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