When we bring a new baby back from the hospital, we take all the precautions necessary to ensure our home is the safest, most ideal living environment.
From upgrading the smoke detectors, to baby-proofing every sharp corner in the house, there’s no such thing as ‘too safe’ in the minds of expectant parents.
But what about the quality of the air in our homes?
We all know the common outdoor contributors, such as exhaust fumes and cigarette smoke, but what about the nasties hiding in our own home’s air supply?
Evidence suggests that the air inside our homes can be up to five times more polluted than the air outside, which means our homes might not always be the safe refuges we think.
To help sort fact from fiction, 9Mums spoke to Dr. Helen Wilson on how to create a clean environment, including clean air, for newborn babies, as well as what we can do to ensure optimal air quality in our homes.
Apart from the typical culprits like dust and pet dander, there are also particles and gases from everyday household products, like cleaning supplies and paint, that lurk in our happy homes.
Additionally, air pollutants, such as pollen, vehicle exhaust, and industrial chemicals can find their way into our personal spaces and lessen the quality of air inside.
Infants and younger children have a faster respiratory rate than older children, and therefore take more breaths per minute than older children.
“So it’s important to protect your baby as much as you can from air pollution by taking necessary precautions to ensure they are breathing with ease,” says Dr. Wilson.
What can you do to help young ones breath cleaner air?
While these allergens are a potential concern for everyone in the household, they’re often a particular concern voiced by parents with babies.
Fortunately, there are a variety of steps concerned parents can take to ensure young ones breathe cleaner air.
One way to incrementally decrease pollutants and improve air quality in your home is to install an air purifier.
Air purifiers can help to capture fine particles such as allergens and pollen in the space, effectively helping to remove odours and other pollutants present in the air.
When shopping for an air purifier, make sure it has a High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filter, as these are the most efficient.
In addition to investing in an air-purifier you can take a few extra steps to improve your indoor air quality:
- Running kitchen and bathroom fans that expel exhaust outside can help send those pesky indoor pollutants packing.
- Skip the scented candles, incense, or fresh flowers, and instead opt for essential oils and natural herbs to improve the smell of your home.
- Frequently wet-mopping your floors and vacuuming the carpet (preferably using a vacuum with a HEPA filter) will also help to maintain a clean home.