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The Risks Children Face from Poor Indoor Air Quality

Children, especially the younger ones who don’t go to school, spend a lot of their time indoors. It is crucial that they have access to good indoor air quality because they will thrive and grow better in an environment where the air they breathe is not toxic. Indoor air quality is affected by the contaminants in the air that have the capacity to affect the health and comfort level of those residing in the building.

Common Causes

Poor choices of building materials, structural leaks, and poor ventilation can lead to poor indoor air quality. All of these may result in increased exposure to the following pollutants:

Biological: molds, fungus, mildew, parasites, bacteria, algae, dust mites, pollen
Chemical: carbon monoxide, volatile organic compounds, asbestos, lead, particulate matter, carbon dioxide
Radon: a radioactive gas coming from soil and rock formations
The most vulnerable to these pollutants are children who stay longer in their homes and have to breathe in these terrible elements that have disastrous consequences for their health. Failure to improve your indoor air quality can lead to illness, or in the worst-case scenario, even death. Installing an air sanitizer system can easily mitigate this problem of indoor air quality. It is something you should prioritize because the health of your children is of primary importance. Here are several risks that children face from poor indoor air quality:

Exacerbates Allergies

Failure to replace your air filters in your air conditioning system can lead to an exacerbation of allergies coming from dust mites, animal dander, and pollen in the air. Don’t hesitate to call someone that offers air conditioner filter replacement services because they will sanitize everything for you. If you are unable to clean your unit, molds, mildew, algae, and fungi will proliferate. These are known to be common triggers of allergic rhinitis, which causes runny nose, postnasal drip, and itchiness in the eyes. On top of that, poor air quality can also trigger skin allergies that cause hives and itchiness. Children who suffer from allergies cannot sleep well and may be fussy all day and night. Some severe forms of allergies can lead to anaphylactic shock syndrome, which means your baby will be unable to breathe due to the inflammation and closure of all his airways. Anaphylaxis can lead to death in a matter of minutes.

Triggers Asthma

Some children who have severe allergies are also asthmatics. The common triggers of an asthma flare-up are the same ones that exacerbate allergies. Poor indoor air quality may trigger an asthma attack in children because they need clean air all the time. An asthma attack means that the tiny air passages in your children’s lungs can become severely inflamed in a matter of seconds. This results in difficulty in breathing, with a paroxysm of coughing, wheezing, and excessive thick mucus production. If untreated with the necessary rescue medications, asthma can lead to pneumonia and even death.

Poor Growth and Development

Children who are constantly exposed to environmental hazards like asbestos coming from the roof or lead from paint will have poor growth. They will not be able to meet developmental milestones as these toxic substances accumulate in their bodies. VOC or volatile organic compounds that come from many normal household substances like cleaning sprays, pesticides, oven cleaners, carpet cleaners, and the like may seem harmless, but constant use around children can lead to poor development. Moreover, children who are constantly exposed to allergens do not get adequate sleep because the symptoms make them uncomfortable.

More Prone to Experience Fatigue

Poor indoor air quality means that children do not get proper oxygenation. All humans need the right amount of oxygen saturation in the body to be able to function well. Those who are oxygen deprived suffer in that their cells do not get the right nutrition. As a result, the organ systems of the body become sluggish. Children who are constantly exposed to hazardous air are more prone to fatigue and nausea.

Inability to Concentrate

When children are uncomfortable in their environment because they have to endure poor air quality, they are unable to concentrate well. It will be very hard for them to focus on schoolwork when they are distracted by the terrible fumes emanating from the kitchen because of inadequate ventilation. Nasty smells coming from your cleaning aids are hard to ignore and your kids cannot escape from the smell when the scent can easily reach the bedrooms. You have to make sure that when you’re cooking or cleaning to open a window to guarantee adequate ventilation.

Poisoning of the Body

The most common form of poisoning in children comes from the ingestion or inhalation of lead. This is typically found in paint products and pipes. The accumulation of lead in the body can damage every organ system. In children, the results are even more deadly because it only takes a small amount to poison them. Lead poisoning can lead to long-lasting health problems. Lead poisoning can even cause impaired cognitive development, which is a very sad result as it impairs brain function.

Can Cause Cancer

Asbestos fibers which are commonly found in roofing and insulation systems are known to be carcinogens. These means exposure to asbestos can cause cancer in building inhabitants. This is worse in children because their small bodies only will already react negatively to small amounts of asbestos.

As parents, it is your responsibility to protect your children from all forms of hazardous elements, including those that are in the air which they constantly breathe. Make sure that your home is clean all the time. Vacuum the carpets regularly. Wipe down windows and areas where mold and mildew can grow. Always replace air filters to ensure good air circulation. Be mindful when you spray your cleaning products. Never ever take the quality of air in your home for granted because you do not want to expose your children to unnecessary risks that can harm them.