While we like to think of home as a place of coziness and warmth, the air in your house could harbor allergens, pollutants and tiny organisms such as mold or mites. Those pesky little critters can lead to a number of health issues in your kids. Here is how to identify areas of potential trouble, and what you can do about them.
Why does air quality matter? While you may picture your home as a refuge from pollens, pollutants and other airborne debris, your house actually can be a danger zone when it comes to air quality. As Washington Post explains, the air in your home can be a haven for dander, mites, pollens, bacteria, molds, and “volatile organic compounds, creating a hostile environment for the sensitive.” Even if nobody in your family appears to suffer with allergies, subjecting everyone’s immune systems to those tiny irritants can leave bodies at higher risk for trouble.
According to Merck Manual, hygiene is the first defense against common pulmonary illnesses in children, such as colds and influenza. Hygiene is more than just washing hands. Poor air quality can contribute to trouble, even causing symptoms of asthma in children. Watch for signs of a sore throat, runny nose or wheezing, and see a physician if your child is experiencing any symptoms. In the meantime, take the following steps to prevent illnesses by improving your home’s air quality.
Remove sources. Eliminating tiny contaminants in your home can be a boon to air quality. Those mites, bacteria, pollens and all their ugly little friends can be hiding in your carpeting, window coverings, stuffed toys and upholstery. Get your carpet cleaned professionally, dust furniture, wash stuffed toys regularly, vacuum upholstery and keep your pet off furniture if possible. One recommendation is to change your vacuum filter frequently to ensure optimum performance, and if you’re using an older vacuum it may be time for a new one.
If your child’s bed isn’t relatively new, it could also be a major source of trouble. You should replace your youngster’s mattress every five years or so, since dust mites and bacteria settle into mattress layers and could contribute to illness. Be sure to check out reviews for mattresses that can resist or prevent mites and molds.
Clean your air. Cleaning the surfaces of your home and your belongings is just one step toward better air quality. Using an electrostatic air filter can clean the pollutants out of the air in your home. There are a few factors you’ll need to consider when choosing an air filter. Learn more about those factors and how HVAC advances such as electrostatic air filters can free your home of allergens, pet dander and the like.
Don’t bring them in. Another simple step toward improving your home’s air quality is to not invite contaminants into your home. One suggestion is to encourage family members to remove their shoes when they come into the house. Your shoes can bring in all sorts of yucky debris, which is then tracked throughout your home if you don’t take proper measures. Putting a shoe rack by the door is an easy way to remind everyone to take shoes off and keep dirt, pollutants and pesticides in check.
Maintain equipment. Another key to improving your home’s air quality is to keep air circulating well. SFGate points out one of the easiest and best ways to do this is to maintain your furnace properly, as servicing equipment is vital to keeping dangerous emissions low. You should also ensure you use exhaust fans in your kitchen and bathrooms to keep fresh air coming into your home.
Fresh, clean air. Your home’s air quality could contribute to common illnesses in your kids. Cleaner air can be your first line of defense in keeping your children healthy. Take steps to ensure your family is breathing air that is fresh and free of dangerous contaminants.
Guest Blogger: Amanda Henderson @ Safe Children