Impact of indoor air pollution on a baby’s life during the first year

Do you know what your baby is breathing?

” The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that indoor air pollution levels are up to five times higher than outdoor air pollution.”

Infants inhale more pollutants per kilogram of their body weight

From birth up to 8 years of age, the lungs grow from 10 million alveoli (many tiny air sacs of the lungs that allow for rapid gaseous exchange) up to 300 million. The air that infants and children breathe during this time is critical for building their immunity and preventing them from developing allergies in the future. Exposure to indoor air pollution during this growth period is known to have an adverse affect on both the structure and function of the lungs.

In growing children, the airways’ epithelium – a layer of cells closely bound to one another to form continuous sheets covering surfaces that may come into contact with foreign substances — are more permeable to air pollutants as their lung defence system is not adequately evolved.

The visible effects of the invisible pollutants your baby is breathing

The impact of indoor air pollution on a baby’s life is huge. However, these are the common symptoms one must be aware of:

  • Common cold
  • Flu
  • Croup
  • Bronchitis

…while Asthma and Pneumonia are more serious conditions.

Time to breathe a sigh of relief

Like every parent, you must have spent sleepless nights dealing with your infant’s coughs and colds. But many of us fail to identify that the air surrounding them could be one of the factors leading to these symptoms. The pollutants insidiously affect their respiratory system and increase their risk of sensitivity to allergies.

That’s why it is important to know what your baby is breathing. An indoor air quality monitor can identify the gases and particles in the air, and lets you know if the air surrounding your baby is safe.

The impact of indoor air pollution on a baby’s life, especially during the first year, is overlooked by many parents. However, the solution might be as simple as opening a window and letting fresh air in. But knowing when to do it, to create an optimal indoor environment for your baby, is crucial!