How should you protect your child from pollution?

Cheena M Gujral
3 to 7 years

Created by Cheena M Gujral
Updated on Nov 05, 2017

How should you protect your child from pollution

All this news of rising pollution levels in Delhi jolts me deep, when I see my 3 year old juggling with skin allergy. I am afraid to recall, when after his first birthday, he got rashes of allergy and the same skin condition is still bothering him more often. It is heart wrenching to see him scratching his fingers over bed side in deep sleep. His father is also on anti-allergic to keep his breath in control. As an individual, it blows my peace of mind and force me to ponder, “ Why this air pollution is hitting my family? Why it just cannot be cured and bring to normal?

How Delhi Has Been Battling With Pollution?

From endless traffic on roads to the threat imposing industries, Delhi has so many self created enemies in developing air pollution. Adding more danger to the prevailing environment, burning of fields in adjoining states, increases the level of smoke and deteriorate air. The researchers measure the quantity of pollution in air with term called PM that is “particulate matter” in the existing air. Currently air surrounding has the level of 2.5PM, which is much more than the safe standards by pollution control board. This mentioned size in microns is even less than your hair strand’s diameter.

What Is PM?

PM stands for particulate matter. It is a complex mixture of extremely small particles and liquid droplets composed of chemical acids such as sulphates, nitrates etc, with ammonia ,carbon ,metal or soil materials, which when inhaled, get into lungs and has potential to cause serious health problems. Generally the size of particles less than 10 microns has more capacity to be breathed in. These particles are mainly present at the ground level near roads and get easy access to our respiratory tract.

From the experience of last year smog, government had taken many precautionary steps like

  1. Major power plants were shut near Delhi border
  2. Fly ash management has been under scrutiny
  3. Conventional brick kilns have been closed
  4. Essential generator sets are no more allowed
  5. Garbage burning is also under a check
  6. Even odd traffic method was also implemented as an emergency aid

With approaching winters, environmentalists are gearing up to meet severely damaged air standards. The moisture or water droplets tend to trap pollutants and create more trouble in breathing. Thus the struggle of Delhi to attain better air quality and meet good safety levels, will be continued for longer now until we think of better substitutes for traffic, industries and the waste dumping issues.

Post Diwali, How The Situation Has Worsened?

Pre Diwali air quality was much better this year than 2016. Though the adulteration level in air, caught the same hazardous nature after Diwali eve. Delhi’s AQB (air quality index) was 329 during Diwali days which is quite poor indeed. The scenario is deteriorating since last week in spite of silent celebrations (well not so silent it seems). The western winds and weather change will also contribute more in downgrading the quality. Crackers and fire, have made the pollution level back to the emergency state. Thus Diwali was a trigger to worsen the worst air, which was revolving around us. Different aids done to manage the pollutants were already insufficient when the Diwali bursting blew away all the checks done.

What Is The Effect Of Pollution On Young Children?

As we have been discussing how the minute pollutants are inhaled and reach our blood stream, it well explains how harmful their impact could be on our health and specially the young children who are striving to build their immunity.Pollution is fearing us with the diseases like AIDS, tuberculosis and even more risk with prolonged exposure to toxins. Poor quality of air make the child prone to.

  1. More risk of heart diseases and abnormal cardiac functioning.Breathing in toxic air causes Irregular heart beat and possibility of silent attacks
  2. The chances of respiratory diseases are more when a child is living in poor standard air. Difficulty in breathing, restlessness and asthma are few common health issues. World wide, less than 5year age children , show asthma symptoms due to pollen or poisonous gases mixed in air
  3. Polluted air is a slow poison and its exposure cause infants and children to be a victim of chronic skin allergies. Rashes and irritation is the symptom in skin pollution when the harmful lead and metals settles over dermis and infuse redness
  4. The minute particulate matter extensively harms the eyes in children leading to loss in eye sight with redness and itchiness. They complain of running nose and dried throat
  5. Cough, swollen eyes and irritability in air path, are so often witnessed amongst children exposed to bad air
  6. Early ageing of lungs could be a worst scenario for budding children
  7. The developing immunity levels are badly hit , making child more frequent ill and weak
  8. Prolonged exposure to heavy metals in air like lead leads to weak nervous system in children
  9. The pollution is not only affecting health, it is destroying the balance of nature also
  10. Acidic lakes and water bodies are created due to pollutants entering into them with garbage and infected water
  11. Soil is being infected with harmful particles and emissions from automobiles or mining industries. The chemicals get settled over the soil gradually
  12. Affect of gases and harmful material is also prevalent in food crops, we consume via the infected soil

Thus our ecosystem is under the lens of pollution and it will slowly degrade the human life which is directly dependent on it.

How To Prevent Your Children From Pollution?

We should try mutually with government efforts to control the further spread of pollution. Along with that we shall never forget that controlling indoor pollution is much more into our hands than outdoor.So lets sincerely start with minimising the pollution in our own houses.

  1. Keep the windows and door closed. The practice of opening up windows early morning to let in fresh air is no more a helpful idea. Keep them shut at peak hours of pollution to prevent the bad air from circulating insidethroughoutthe day
  2. Avoid Indoor carpeting. Floor to floor carpeting is creating more troubles by consuming maximum dust. It has tendency to imbibe all the materials which can harm your child. So better avoid all floored carpeting and keep regular check in cleaning them
  3. Don’t use artificial fragrances at home. The artificial fumes have harmful chemicals that add on to adverse air quality. The gases evaporating from them is complete no to check air pollution. Use baking soda mixed in water, for keeping your home odourless naturally
  4. Use of air filters is much adopted these days. They help to clean the indoor air where your child is playing and breathing most of the time
  5. Smoking is never an appreciated habit. So avoiding it specially indoors is a great help to your child in fighting bad air. Being a passive smoker is equally a health trouble as it is to active smoker
  6. Keep the house clean and dust free
  7. Plants that purifies air can help build fresh air indoor. Try planting bamboo, Aloe Vera or snake plants
  8. When your child is moving out, apply moisturisers or coconut oil over exposed areas. This will reduce the affect of pollution on skin
  9. Encourage your child to wear masks or cover face, if he or she is too prone to irritation and respiratory issues
  10. Dietary changes are recommended to recover the damage done to body. Diet which Include food rich in vitamins like A and C , helps shielding body. Fruits and vegetables like tomato, lemon carrot, amla, spinach, guava and many more will help build immunity and check illness in children. There are many other ways in which you can indirectly help in improving the air surrounding your child. Small changes in lifestyle can help pave better future for our current generation
  11. Prefer walk. Adopting walk over automobile is very helpful in your exercise and controlling the pollution. Do walk when you are going to pick and drop child from nearby bus point, walk a little more to buy veggies from locality shop
  12. Encourage and use non motorised vehicles like cycles and rickshaws, can bring reforms in checking good air. The primary cause of air pollution is exhaust from vehicles and motors only
  13. Prefer staying Indoor with child. Indulge in playtime at home rather than visiting malls and open areas. In a way it will cut exposure to toxins and bad air

It is our responsibility to share the good quality air we had inherited from ancestors with our coming generations.Keeping that air clean and at good quality standards is our duty towards nature. Prevent the atmosphere from getting more infected and reaching the stage of death. Our care towards the nature is the key to help nature care for us.

How are you keeping your child safe from pollution? Do share your views and feedback with us in the comments section below.

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| Oct 31, 2017

Walking and Cycling these days seems to be much preferred options over commuting by ur own vehicle .staying indoors is in thing . green diwali has taken over much noisy hullabaloo with changing scenario , norms are also changing and so are trends. many thanks for sharing this useful blog.

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