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Are you providing healthy air for your children to breathe? Many people find it disturbing to know the air quality in their homes could be unhealthy. Even more upsetting is discovering your in-home air quality could be contributing to illnesses due to invisible hazardous particles. How can you nip trouble in the bud when you can’t see the cause? Here are some suggestions for identifying sources of potential danger to you and your children, and cleaning up your home’s air.
Worse inside than out. Most of us assume our home is a haven for our family members, protecting us from all the dangers of the outside world. However, most people’s homes are actually a haven for dangerous irritants. In fact, some research indicates the air quality in most of our homes is actually more polluted than the air quality outdoors. The problem is extreme. Experts cited by Huffington Post explain that poor indoor air quality is one of the biggest health issues of our time, noting indoor air can be two to five times more polluted than outdoor air.
What is your family breathing? Our homes harbor pollens, dander, molds, fungi, bacteria, and a number of other invisible but dangerous particles. All those bits of trouble can cause respiratory issues, particularly for your children. Being exposed to these particles while their lungs are developing can lead to common lung issues such as asthma, allergies, viruses, bacterial infections, and much more. Stay alert to symptoms such as wheezing, a runny or stuffy nose, coughing, fever, or an increased rate of breath. See your physician if your child develops respiratory trouble, and in the meantime, take steps to corral hazards and prevent damage to your children’s lungs.
Fighting lurking dangers. What can you do when you’re fighting dangers you can’t see? Thankfully, plenty. Try these tips for identifying sources of trouble and managing them in productive ways:
Cigarette smoke. Never allow anyone to smoke in your home. If someone in your household smokes, ensure they do so outside.
Molds and mildew. Reduce the potential for molds and mildews to develop in your home. Address any sources of seeping water such as clogged gutters or leaks into your basement.
Pet dander. Keep pets clean and out of the bedrooms of family members who have allergies or asthma. Another suggestion is to keep pets off upholstery and carpeting.
Firewood. Green firewood can contain mold spores that release as it dries. Store firewood outside.
Emissions. Fuel-burning furnaces, gas ranges, and water heaters can all produce dangerous emissions. Have them serviced regularly and also ensure you replace furnace filters routinely.
Carpeting. Carpeting provides hiding places for a wide variety of particles. If you must have carpeting, choose a short-nap style. If possible, replace carpets with smooth-surface flooring.
Go further. Providing completely clean air isn’t possible because you will always have some items and surfaces which trap debris, air flows in from outside, and you and your family will bring in particles in the course of everyday life. However in addition to cleaning your home’s surfaces and addressing sources of trouble, you can clean your home’s air. You can spray air-cleaning products in your home to knock out a substantial portion of hazards. Another idea is to add indoor plants, which naturally filter your home’s air. Also consider adding an electrostatic air filter to clean the pollutants out of the air in your home. An electrostatic air filter can remove pollen, dust mites, mold, and bacteria—much of those invisible dangers you can’t see. Home improvement stores and sites like Amazon and FilterBuy offer a wide variety of sizes and types of filters. Just be sure to take your measurements and note replacement date.
Enjoy the outdoors. While the air quality in your home is very important, you'll also want to get your family plenty of fresh air and engage in some fun outdoor activities. Take advantage of days with good weather and breathe in the air outside. Go bird watching, spend a night backyard camping, or tour the neighborhood on your bicycles. Spending time in the great outdoors is a healthy way to enjoy your kids and make some memories!
Cleaner air in your home means better health for your family. Take steps to remove invisible dangers. You and your children can enjoy fresh air in the comforts of your home.