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Air Quality and Children Health by Eco Healthy Child Care

Air quality significantly impacts children’s health. Indoor air pollution levels are 2-5 times greater than outdoor levels because of indoor pollutants such as tobacco smoke (including e-cigarettes or “vaping”), mold, cockroaches, household chemicals, fragrances, and pet dander.

The health impacts of poor indoor and outdoor air include decreased lung size and function, asthma, bronchitis, emphysema, and some types of cancers.

Children are more susceptible to the health impacts of poor air quality because their lungs are still developing and they breathe more air per pound of bodyweight than adults. Children also spend on average more time indoors than adults.

Children of color, and children from low-income households, are at a greater risk for adverse health outcomes because of their exposure to high levels of air pollution. They are more prone to live near polluting industries due to long-standing housing and economic policies that have led to higher rates of poverty and racial segregation.

You can reduce harmful chemicals and particles indoors by improving ventilation or bringing in fresh outdoor air.

Tips to improve ventilation:

  1. Increase ventilation by opening screened windows and doors. But avoid these actions when outdoor air pollution is high. You can use the following tool to assess outdoor air quality and levels of particulate matter (PM).

  2. If you have a heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system, run the system fan for longer times, or continuously.

  3. Consider upgrading the HVAC system filter to a higher efficiency MERV 13 filter, or the highest-rated filter that your system fan and filter slot can accommodate. Change out HVAC filters according to the manufacturer's instructions.

  4. HVAC systems need maintenance-have them checked yearly by a certified professional.

  5. Portable Air Cleaners can be used to supplement natural and mechanical ventilation systems in certain situations, e.g. when windows can't be opened or HVAC system fans can't be run continuously.

To learn more about Eco Child Care visit their website

For more classes on Eco Child Care check the Mc3 training calendar!

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