How to protect a child from the effects of polluted air?
Man cannot live without breathing – one of the most important vital processes in the body – and for the process to take place healthily and properly, the air must be clean, without chemicals, construction materials, car exhaust gases, and other harmful particles or gases that pollute the air, and while grown adults can protect themselves in some way, young people because their immunity and internal organs are not complete and they are exposed to great damage from air pollution by their movement and playing outdoors…and they get sick, and this is where the role of mother’s protection comes in. For more information, the meeting was with Dr. Hussein Abdel-Fattah, consultant pediatrician, for explanation and clarification.
Effects of pollution on children
- Air pollution causes visible and direct damages, such as: eye inflammation, sore throat and cough, but there are also many more serious hidden damages, which take some time to become apparent.
- The most dangerous are the smallest particles of pollution that reach the lungs and are transmitted through the bloodstream, which means that they will circulate throughout the body, so it is not surprising that numerous damages affect children.
- Including.. acute lower respiratory tract infections, which affect the airways and lungs, and are caused by the presence of smokers in the home, the use of unsafe cooking methods or exposure to pollution outside the home.
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2-Changes in the immune system
- And it is possible to damage children’s lungs, because it can cause asthma, and this happens despite the child’s exposure to low levels of pollution, and the lungs gradually shrink, and this is one of the long-term effects.
- Exposure to high levels of pollution can lead to changes in the child’s immune system and increase the possibility of developing chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular diseases, and this can happen in the later stages of the child’s life.
- Air pollution can also increase the possibility of getting cancer, and it also has a negative effect on neurological development: such as causing inflammation of brain cells, which negatively affects the child’s mental and motor development, while reducing the child’s cognitive and intellectual abilities.
- In a meta-analysis, following 1,759 children between the ages of 10 and 18, researchers found that children raised in polluted environments were more likely to have reduced lung development.
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3- Reasons why children are affected more than others
- Children are more sensitive to pollution than others. because they inhale large amounts of air; This is because children’s lungs are still developing and need large amounts of oxygen.
- In addition, most of the alveoli in a child’s lungs develop after birth, and their growth is complete when they enter puberty. Scientifically, the alveoli are where oxygen is transferred to the blood.
- In addition, the incomplete development of the body’s defenses against infection in the child continues to develop until the stage of adolescence, and their nasal passages are still ineffective, except that the barrier that surrounds the brain and protects the child is not yet complete.
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4- Babies crawl, play and run
- Children have different activities and behavior than adults; There are children who crawl on the ground, and the place can be full of dust and dirt, and they often follow this by putting their hands in their mouths, which makes them more sensitive to pollution and harmful substances.
- There are children who spend more time outside; They often play outside, in gardens or any other open enclosure, which increases their exposure to pollution.
5 tips to protect your child from air pollution
- Steps you can take to reduce your baby’s exposure to air pollution, including avoiding smoking during pregnancy, while being careful to protect your baby from exposure to secondhand smoke after birth, should keep him away from polluted areas where there is a lot of smoke.
- Take a walk with your child instead of driving, as the possibility of exposure to polluted air in a car is higher than outdoors. Take quieter and less polluted roads and streets and avoid crowded places.
- Keep your home well ventilated on a regular basis, and it would also be beneficial to add proper ventilation to your home, along with regular maintenance of clean air conditioner ducts, as this can play a role in preserving the walls and preventing them from releasing harmful gases.
6- Check the cleanliness of the house and carpets
- Make sure carpets and the inside of carpets are well cleaned.. And make sure you reduce your and your child’s exposure to household chemicals.
- Although it is advisable to avoid the use of chemical products, fertilizers, pesticides and soaps.
- Instead, opt for plant-based products or chemical-free organic options.
Note from “Madam Net”: Before applying this recipe or treatment, it is necessary to consult a specialist.