Infrared heaters, at the least the “space heater” type, are designed to be safe for kids and pets by not exposing any of the elements to open air. You may have seen some of the radiant infrared heaters, the type that are designed for directional heat – and yes some of those can be a little bit dangerous if not handles properly.
Take this comparison, for example:
The one on the right is a radiant heater. The one on the left is a room heater. It’s going to be much harder (if not impossible) for a wandering and inquisitive little kid to burn his fingers on the space heater. The reason is that the heating elements are deeper inside the unit.
We’re not saying that the radiant heater is entirely unsafe. They usually have built in safety features like auto-shut off if it tips over. But a radiant heater definitely has more exposed parts that could be very hot to the touch in certain circumstances.
Most kids and pets are pretty smart, they won’t mess around with something that is hot to the touch. But to keep the burn risk levels down, if you need to introduce these types of heaters into your home, you should go with a room heater that has a design similar to the infrared space heaters we review on this site.