Will the smell of paint harm my children?

Answered by: Linda Jonides, R.N., C.P.N.P.


We are going to paint the rooms in our house and I have a 1-year-old and a 2-month-old baby. Isn't the paint smell dangerous for them?


The paint smell is not really dangerous for brief exposures. There would be a concern if the babies were exposed daily for a long period. However, the odor of fresh paint can be irritating and unpleasant. I generally advise parents to open windows if possible when rooms are being painted, or even to stay at a grandparent or friend's house for a few days, especially if the house or most rooms are being painted. If you're just painting one room at a time, try to keep the babies out of that room for a few days, and open windows when possible.