The safest heaters are portable electric space heaters rather than those that use gas, kerosene or propane as the heating element. Among the wide variety of electric heaters manufactured, some are safer to use around children because of their construction. While keeping a child warm in her room is important, it is also important to use heaters that are relatively childproof.
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Oil-Filled Convection Heater
Convection heaters raise the temperature in a room. The oil-filled convection heaters look like old-fashioned radiators. The oil is permanently sealed inside the heater so a child cannot accidentally access the oil. These heaters are also very heavy, so a child won't be able to move it or knock it over. Many of these heaters also have a tip-over feature that automatically turns off the heater if a child does manage to tip it over. These oil-filled heaters are also slow to heat, which improves safety.
Some heaters are designed to be mounted on a wall. They consist of narrow panels that hang flat against the wall. These heaters are safe for children because they are out of the way where a child cannot knock them over or fiddle with them. The coverings of the panels are also heat-resistant, meaning that if a child touches it, she will not burn her hand.
With the parabolic heater, the heating element is in the centre of the unit. Heating elements that are in the centre rather than at the front of the unit are safer around children and pets. It has no heating coils, but instead a ceramic core which is safer, reports Gary Foreman in his article "Choosing a Safe Space Heater" on the Better Budgeting website. The ceramic core is also large so it doesn't have to get very hot to heat a child's room. Again look for models with a tip over shut-off feature.
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