Asthma, Babies and Air Pollution

Asthma, Babies and Air Pollution

In France, 20% of infants under 36 months of age suffer from asthma (respiratory disease), which is one of the major allergies, characterized by inflammation of the bronchi. Hereditary factors play a role in the diagnosis of these infections. Also, air pollution has been clearly identified as one of the factors favouring the development of allergies and asthma, hence the importance of healthy air for your baby. After all, at birth, his lungs are still far from being finished: they will continue to develop until he is about 8 years old. As an infant spends most of his time indoors and breathes twice as much air as an adult, the quality of the air he breathes is crucial to his development.

You probably tell yourself that at home, baby is calm in his bubble, protected from outside aggressions and air pollution: noise, extreme heat or cold, viruses, exhaust fumes, tobacco smoke, allergens, mould and other pollutants... However, this is not the case, indoor air is 5 to 10 times more polluted than outside and in France, in a dwelling, there are on average 30 different pollutants.

asthma in babies

Your baby in his room breathes not only the outdoor air, which is more or less polluted depending on where you live, but also a rich palette of already famous polluting particles: VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds). These VOCs emanate from walls, floors, materials, cleaning products, furniture, cigarette smoke...

The most dangerous polluting particles are the finest. They progress to the end of the respiratory tract, reach the alveoli and cause lung diseases. They then enter the bloodstream and also cause cardiovascular problems by clogging small vessels. This is how they can cause chronic bronchitis, allergic rhinitis, asthma symptoms, asthma attacks, lung cancer, strokes and myocardial infarction.

Air pollution also increases the risk of giving birth to a low birth weight child. INSERM (French National Institute for Health and Medical Research) attributes 8,292 cases of hypertrophy to fine particles in 2012. Hypotrophy has very harmful effects, it can lead to a significant delay in intellectual development in children, the Institute points out.

What can I do to make my Home Sweet Home healthier?

  • Regularly ventilate your home, preferably early in the morning or in the late evening. Do it even more if you are doing renovation or if you have brand new chipboard furniture
  • Take the time to reac cleaning products ingredients and make sure to pick up the simplest ones (white vinegar alcohol, THE universal cleaner
  • For your decoration: avoid objects or material where dust and mite love to accumulate, choose raw wood rather than chipboard furniture, natural material rather than carpet padding
  • Correctly check the smooth running of your combustion devices such as boilers
  • Regularly clean filters and air vents
  • Set up an air purifier in the room where your baby spends most of its time

To find out more and to take more precautions, you can read this : Healthy Housing Reference Manual

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