Boosting Air Quality for Baby

Solenco Reporter
 September 07, 2017
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Air Purifiers

When you become a parent, the simple act of breathing takes on a whole new meaning. Watching your baby's tiny chest rhythmically rise and fall and listening for a comforting exhalation on the baby monitor are two habits you're likely to pick up before you've even realized it. But what about the quality of the air he's breathing?

Concentrations of volatile organic compounds (VOCs, a variety of chemicals emitted from many common household items) are up to 10 times higher indoors than out, even in areas with significant outdoor air pollution, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Children and adults spend the bulk of their time indoors, where pollutants such as VOCs, lead, dust and radon concentrate; and all of them can have shortand long-term health effects, including kidney, liver and nervous system damage. But with a few easy precautions, you can improve your home's air quality and breathe easier knowing that your whole family is healthier for it.

Clean floors for cleaner air

Wipe your feet on a doormat or remove your shoes at the door (instruct guests to do the same) so you don't track in contaminants such as animal feces, lead, dust or pesticides. At least twice a week, vacuum carpets using a vacuum with a HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Arrestance) filter and mop bare floors. Instead of installing new wall-to-wall carpeting, which can emit VOCs, flame retardants and other harmful chemicals, choose an eco-friendly flooring alternative.

Freshen air naturally

Open your windows for at least five minutes a day to let polluted air out and cleaner air in. And, let your green thumb have free reign: Some indoor plants have been proven to remove indoor plants. Bamboo palm, ficus, common chrysanthemums, marginata, spider plants and peperomia are good options. Use natural herbs and essential oils to freshen the air instead of scented candles or air fresheners, which have been linked to infant diarrhea and headaches in adults.

Keep humidity low

High humidity can promote mould growth, and mould is a respiratory irritant that can cause allergies and asthma. Repair leaky plumbing and seal cracks in floors and walls. Place dehumidifiers in or near damp rooms, and clean and replace the filters regularly. Try to keep the humidity level in your home between 50 percent and 55 percent; many dehumidifiers have a built-in hygrometer that gives readings.

Avoid products with synthetic fragrances or perfumes

Use nontoxic or less-toxic substitutes for synthetic pesticides, chemical cleaners and renovation products. Hang/dry-cleaned clothes outside or in a well-ventilated area before bringing them inside. Purchase hardwood furnishings or seal new cabinets and furniture built from pressed woods with a nontoxic sealer. Buy used items, which are likely to have already offgassed their most potent fumes. (Buying used also helps the Earth by conserving resources and keeping things out of the waste stream.)

Get an Air Purifier!

Infants and toddlers who are exposed to air pollutants may develop serious respiratory problems that will remain with them throughout their lifetime and due to the severe level of pollution, many parents are investing in air purifiers which will permit their children to breathe clean, treated and purified air. If you believe that air purifiers were only necessary for children who were already diagnosed with allergies or suffered from asthma - think again! These devices are becoming more and more common and are being used a lot more by concerned parents who believe that prevention is better than cure. Just as it is importnant for a newborn baby to be fed, clothed and kept clean, it is as essential to make sure that the air which an infant inhales is clean and pure. 

(Adapted from article written by Christopher Gavigan in Fit Pregnancy)

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