The toxic effects of air pollution can be seen with greater severity in children. Here’s how you keep them safe, starting with buying an air pollution mask.
Children are more susceptible to the evils of air pollution. Their lungs are not yet fully developed, and they inhale more air as compared to their body weight than adults do. This means that they take in more pollutants in their system.
If you are worried about the quality of the air that your child is breathing, you can consider the following 5 ways to keep them safe:
#1 Buy an air pollution mask. An air pollution mask with an N95 or N99 rating is ideal for your child. A good air pollution mask, like the one from the Dettol SiTiShield range, filters out the harmful particulate matter and dust from the air your child breathes. Also, this air pollution mask fits snugly on the face, and does not leave gaps at the sides. Your child can wear the mask whenever they are out of doors, or during play, school hours, etc.
#2 Monitor air quality before letting them step out. Install real time air quality monitoring apps on your smartphone. Before your children step out of doors for school, classes or play, do check the ambient air quality for levels of particulate matter, smog, smoke, etc. If the air quality is quite poor, strap on an air pollution mask on their face before letting them out.
#3 Ask the school to shift outdoor activities.The school and team coaches must keep a hawk’s eye on air conditions before scheduling practices or matches. Reports of outdoor sporting events like marathons and cricket matches in cities like Delhi and Gurgaon are now common. Likewise, if their school has scheduled a match or practice run at a time when the air quality is not near safe levels, you can request them to cancel or shift to an indoor arena.
#4 Keep a lookout for the slightest respiratory problem. Children are quick to fall ill following exposure to polluted air. A common cold or cough when the weather changes is normal. But you must be alert for signs of gasping, unseasonal cough, wheezing, rattling breaths, etc. All of these point to respiratory infection and must be treated at once. If treatment is delayed, the condition may develop into a chronic illness.
#5 Invest in indoor air purifiers. Even indoor air quality might be quite poor, owing to dust and smoke from outside seeping into the house. Your children must be protected from polluted air even inside the house. You can invest in air filters for your child’s room – the best ones provide clean air for about 8 hours in a single use. You can even install air conditioners for the rest of the house, to infuse room temperature air when the outdoor air quality is poor and you cannot keep the windows open.