Ways to Protect Child from Winter Air Pollution
Created by Dr Reetika Inderjeet Juneja Updated on Oct 31, 2019
Air pollution is not a new concept in India, however every year during winters it becomes a hot topic for discussion. This time is also no different. Right? No, this time the pollution is all the time too high. In fact, air quality is so poor that you as parents are wondering whether the air you and your child are breathing is safe or not?
I am a Delhi-based mother of a toddler and with the increasingly poor quality of air, I am worried about my child's health. He is suffering from dry cough for the past few weeks, and it tends to get worst during the nights making it difficult for him to sleep peacefully. His teacher told me that it is quite common with children these days and told me to exercise certain precautions to ensure that the rest of the winters pass off without further health problems. So what is it about the air quality that is making our children sick and affecting their immunity. [Let's See - How to Avoid Indoor Air Pollution?]
What Do We Mean by Poor Air Quality?
When the air has extremely high levels of particulate matter known as PM 2.5, it is considered that air is not fit for breathing and the quality is poor.
Why Is PM 2.5 Dangerous?
PM 2.5 is considered dangerous because it is quite fine that is invisible to naked eyes but it is the prime cause of asthma and bronchitis in children. These matters come from many resources like firecrackers, burning of crops, trash burning, and vehicles. They don't settle down but remain suspended in the air making the air hazy.
What Is Causing Air Pollution?
So, everyone is curious about why air pollution drastically increases at the start of winter. Read here causes behind sudden air pollution...
- We are receiving air pollution from neighboring towns and industries present
- Firecrackers in Diwali
- Crop burning in adjoining states
- Trash burning in outskirts and roads to keep winters at bay
- Also, the toxic fuels from diesel vehicles and CNG fitted cars
What Are The Worst & Best Times to Step Out?
Early morning 6-8 am and night time 9-12 pm is the worst time to step out. The best time to step out is at 2-5 pm in the afternoon. Children spend more time outdoors than adults. They have higher oxygen demands so they inhale more air per unit of body weight as compared to adults. Their lungs are not yet fully developed so more susceptible to airborne diseases. [Read - How Air Pollution Is Affecting Children?]
Steps to Fight Air Pollution
All said and done, things will take their own course of time to change but for now, here's what can you do to protect your child from the ever-increasing air pollution.
- Stay Indoors: Try to keep them maximum indoors I know it's easier said than done, engage them in some indoor activities but considering the pollution level it would be hazardous to take them outside worst is early morning when they leave for school i.e. 6-8 am and in the night after 9 pm
- Travel Only If You Must: While taking them out prefer to travel in a car with windows closed and air circulation system set to re-circulation rather than pulling in air from outside. Afternoon 2-5 pm is the best time to take them out even though that time also the air pollution is more than double than the allowed limit. But at night and early morning its worst
- Air Purifiers for Your Home: Consider buying indoor air filters for your home. Get your room air tested first before buying and then go with what's best. While buying the Purifier go for the real HEPA filters. The better the filter the faster it can reduce the air quality drastically. Always turn on the humidifier mode on otherwise it can make the air very dry in a closed room.
- Plants Keep the Air Pure: Plant more indoor plants, they help keep the air fresh and absorb, neutralize and remove some pollutants. Garden Mum, Bamboo, Aloe Vera, Money plant are some of them which can help reduce the PM level
- Build Immunity Through a Healthy Diet: Go for some dietary changes and strengthen the inner defenses against the pollution. Foods that are rich in antioxidants should be consumed adequately. Vitamin A and C are what you should be looking at while feeding your little ones. All yellow, orange, green is for Vitamin A and all citrus fruits for vitamin C. Fussy kids will hard to feed so try options like lemon or orange juice favorite among kids, colored pasta with all colored bell peppers. Desserts like Gajar halwa can work. Try adding grated carrot to sooji porridge or chilla. Having yellow milk or foods that help increase immunity is also important
- Mask Is a Must: Make sure your child is wearing the mask when you take him or her outside. These air masks are important to filter out dangerous airborne particles. Either N95 or N99 rated masks which are well fitted i.e. no gaps to let outside air.
- Breathing Exercises: Make sure your child practices deep breathing exercise to inhale fresh air and clean the respiratory tract.
[Also Read - How to Protect Child From Air Pollution?]
- Eye Drops: Buy the non-medicine eye drops which will help your child's eyes from burning sensation and redness caused by the high PM2.5 pollutant in the air.
- The healthy regime at home: Maintain and increase hygiene standards at home like taking bath twice a day, wash hands regularly especially after returning from outdoors.
- Spread Awareness in your Own Community: Help reduce trash burning in near societies and also Start using more natural cleaning products and avoid all chemical detergents, look for home recipes for cleaning around vinegar and baking soda and be creative.
Do you have some more tips to protect your child from the brunt of this ever-increasing air pollution? Share your views and feedback in the comments section below.
| Dec 06, 2018
we are most concerned about air. Because it directly affect us. Immidiate problem arise. even death occurs. Soil is much polluted than air .Nobody has concern about it. Because it has no sudden effect on us. It is slow killing. Yesterday was world soil day. who knows it except people working on soil and Related field. We should make aware our children to save our soil