As a proactive parent, caring for your child’s health is a top priority. Many of us take our children to get yearly shots, teeth cleanings, and checkups to make sure they’re in the best health possible. As we dive further into this new age of technology and development, it’s crucial to consider air pollution as a factor towards human health—especially children’s health. According to the American Lung Association, “Children face special risks from air pollution because their lungs are growing and because they are so active.” Therefore, for this month’s blog, we will be diving into some tips, techniques, and information to help protect your children from air pollution.
What is Air Pollution?
Before understanding how to avoid air pollution, we must understand what germs and pollutants are in the air. While the word “pollution” is generally considered broad, the EPA has confirmed six different types of air pollutants that are considered crucial or harmful: Carbon monoxide, lead, nitrogen oxides, ground-level ozone, particle pollution, and sulfur oxides. The ones we will focus on today will be carbon monoxide and particle pollution as these have a larger impact on indoor air quality.
Carbon monoxide is considered the most prominent type of air pollutant. When produced indoors, carbon monoxide comes from gas heaters/burners, wood-burning heaters, and cigarette smoke. Carbon monoxide reduces the amount of oxygen your lungs can take into your body and this oxygen deprivation can lead to serious health conditions. The other notable indoor air pollutant is particle pollution. Particulate matter includes things like dust, dirt, pollen, spores, dander, or other extremely small particles that become suspended in the air. Additionally, some other notable indoor pollutants can come from cleaning materials, new building materials, and outside air. These air pollutants can have a major impact on your mental and physical health, especially for growing children.
Now, let’s dive into some tips to help protect your children from air pollution!
As many parents already realize, your baby’s development starts well before birth. This is why eating a healthy diet and avoiding harmful substances like alcohol or tobacco is crucial for expecting mothers. Much like tobacco, we should all consider air pollution as a developmental factor prior to birth. That said, the following tips apply to both carrying and current mothers.
One of the best ways to avoid indoor air pollution is to have a ventilation system. This can be performed through a well-functioning HVAC unit and/or opening windows and using a fan to circulate fresh air. Opening your windows may seem counterproductive, but the EPA found that indoor air pollution can be two to five times higher than outdoor air pollution. Ventilation is extremely important in areas like your kitchen, laundry room, bathroom, and basement which have a buildup of gasses and other air pollutants.
Cleaning tasks, such as dusting, vacuuming, and disinfecting, also impact your indoor air quality. Removing the dust, dirt, pollen, and dander in your home will help lower the possibility for small and large health effects, like allergies or long-term respiratory issues. Make sure to avoid having your children and companion animals around harmful cleaning products or chemicals. If this cannot be avoided, provide a sufficient face mask to protect your and their lungs (or open a window while you clean). According to new research from the CHILD Cohort Study, exposure to cleaning substances within the first three months of life can increase the risk of developing asthma.
Plants or Air Purification System
According to a famous NASA study done in 1989, indoor plants can clean the air of toxic, cancer-causing pollution and organic compounds such as benzene and formaldehyde. Plants act as constant air purifiers and can bring a variety of benefits to your home and its air quality. If plants aren’t your thing, a good quality air purifier will also help reduce pollution. If you’re looking for some great plant species that are known for being great purifiers, check out this article!
Activa Coating Paint
One of your best and easiest options for reducing indoor air pollution is Activa Coating. Our unique paint uses the science of photocatalysis to help purify the air, remove odors, and sanitize surfaces. That means when air containing viruses, fungi, mold spores, bacteria, and other microorganisms passes by a wall or ceiling painted with Activa Coating, Activa works to help reduce and eliminate them. So, not only do your little ones get to breathe clean air free of harmful pollutants, but you protect their hearts, minds, and bodies during their crucial development stages.
With the concern of our children’s health being higher than ever before, we have to consider all factors that affect it, including pollution. Creating a healthier environment for your children might seem overwhelming but we’re here to assure you that it can be easy! With the tips we’ve provided today, you and your children will be one step ahead of pollution and its detrimental health effects. If you want to learn more about some of the topics we’ve discussed, make sure to check out our other blogs!