According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), indoor air can be two to five times more polluted than outdoor air. In some instances, it can be a hundred times worse. If you have a baby, it only means that his or her exposure to pollutants is greater inside the home than outside, and such is not good for the respiratory system and overall health.
Fortunately, there are many ways to make sure that your baby is breathing clean indoor air. The steps that you can take range from opening the windows regularly to using a Greenguard certified crib mattress.
Health Dangers of Exposure to Air Pollutants
Babies are rapidly growing and developing. It is why they have an accelerated metabolic rate, which requires them to breathe lots of oxygen. Proof to this is a respiratory rate of 30 to 60 per minute. The respiratory rate of adults is 12 to 16 per minute.
Making sure that your little one is breathing nothing but clean air is a must. Otherwise, he or she can contract respiratory issues, such as:
- Coughing. Many reasons exist why babies cough. One of them is irritation of the upper airways, which is often due to the inhalation of irritants or pollutants.
- Aggravated asthma. Does your baby have asthma? Then do everything you can to keep him or her from exposure to dirty air that may cause problems. According to a study that began in the 1990s, babies with persistent asthma are at higher risk of having lung problems in their adulthood.
- Decreased lung function. Persistent asthma can form scars in the lung tissue. These can keep the lungs from doing their important job of supplying the body with oxygen and removing carbon dioxide from it.
Unfortunately, your baby’s respiratory system is not the only one that exposure to polluted indoor air may affect. Experts confirm that it can have an unfavorable impact on their overall health as tiny air pollutants may get to the bloodstream.
For more information on the matter, you can refer to resources online such as this guide to keeping children with asthma safe at home to help in coping and combating air pollutants.
When that happens, some most serious problems, including life-threatening ones that may affect your baby, are as follows:
- Irregular heart rate
- Liver damage
- Kidney problems
- Neurological diseases
As you can see, keeping your baby from exposure to dirty indoor air is of utmost importance. Otherwise, he or she may develop acute respiratory symptoms and even encounter other kinds of health issues later on.
Ways to Maintain Clean Indoor Air
Fortunately, there are several steps that you may take to make sure that your baby is breathing clean air inside the home. Some of them require a change in your daily habits or lifestyle, while others call for purchasing specific products that can help your indoor air quality. No matter what, it is all for the health and wellness of your little one.
Here are a few things to eliminate as many irritants and pollutants in the air inside your home as possible:
- Use the right products. Some most common sources of indoor air pollution are harmful chemicals in many household cleaning products. When shopping, consider going for products that contain natural ingredients only. It is good not only for the health of your baby but yours and the rest of the family’s, too.
- Quit smoking. Even if a smoker smokes cigarettes outdoors, some chemicals may stick to the hair and clothes. They get introduced into the air inside the home once the smoker steps foot in it.
- Open the windows. Something as simple as opening the windows for at least five minutes a day can help reduce indoor air pollution.
- Count on a HEPA filter. Consider investing in a vacuum cleaner and an air purifier with a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter. According to experts, this filter can remove more than 99% of unhealthy particles in the air.
- Regularly clean carpets. Carpets can trap dirt, dust mites, mold spores, and others. They can also release them into the air each time they get traffic. Due to this, it is important to clean carpets regularly. If the time and budget permits, switch to hardwood, tile or vinyl flooring to minimize air pollution inside the home.
- Use the right mattress. It is a great idea to go for a Greenguard certified crib mattress that does not emit toxins capable of polluting indoor air and harming your baby.
- Get an Airthings Wave Plus. If you really want to make sure your air quality is top-notch in your house, you need to get an Airthings Wave Plus! It detects Radon, Carbon Dioxide (CO2), toxins and chemicals (Total VOCs), humidity, temperature, and air pressure! This allows you to gain full visibility into six key indoor air factors and it alerts you on your phone if something is off. Airthings Wave Plus works seamlessly with Alexa, Google Assistant and IFTTT (if this then that).
Indoor air pollution is harmful to your baby. Follow the tips above to make sure that he or she is breathing clean air inside the home.