With a newborn on the way, many parents will be diving into social media, leaning into their social circles, and buying armfuls of books to learn the ins-and-outs of newborn care. Worryingly, poor air quality can have a detrimental effect on newborns and young children, but this threat is often overlooked or simply dismissed as a low-risk issue.
Statistics show that a decrease in outdoor air quality correlates with an increase in infant mortality rates. So, what’s happening indoors? Research shows that the presence of pollutants indoors can be 2 to 5 times higher compared to outdoors. The reality is that many homes aren’t built for good ventilation and many now rely on HVAC systems that trap inhabitants in poor quality indoor air. Here’s how to improve air quality in your babies and children’s bedrooms, and protect them from harmful airborne illnesses.
How to improve air quality in bedrooms
If you’re preparing your home for a new baby, or fancy upgrading one of your kid’s bedrooms, you may not be aware of all the dangers lurking in your well-intentioned plans. From toxic paints and carpets to cancer-causing rocking chairs, believe it or not, many products that our children and babies can be exposed to can be harmful to their health. Here are 9 ways to improve air quality and get clean air in bedrooms.
Don’t redecorate close to your due date
Many parents will choose to redecorate and even remodel their baby’s bedroom in the weeks before baby arrives, unknowingly putting their baby at risk. Renovations and redecorations can cause microscopic debris to be released into the air. There is the risk of asbestos dust, fiberglass, and mold spores from being disturbed and left suspended in the air of your baby’s room. This is particularly concerning as young babies and children often have lungs that are not fully developed, and are especially vulnerable to toxic chemicals and other pathogens. Newborns may develop serious infections, irritation to their sinuses and even bronchial issues. It is recommended to avoid any sort of renovation to your baby’s room, unless undertaken months in advance so that all pathogens can either be ventilated properly from the room, or removed with the help of an air purifier, like the TADIRAN AIROW 3™.
Use paints and primers that are “no odor” and “no VOC”
Check that your chosen colors and primers don’t contain harmful odors or volatile organic compounds (sometimes referred to as “VOCs”). These products can emit gasses for months and years after being applied, placing your babies and toddlers at risk of medical issues including respiratory problems. Some chemical paints and primers can release harmful airborne chemicals that linger for weeks even after the smell has gone.
Choose wood floors over thick pile carpets
As lush as those deep carpets might feel, many can become a trap for environmental allergens. Dust, dust mites, pet dander, pollen, and all other kinds of allergens can find home in the thick and fibrous pile of your plush carpet. Many adults are more resistant to allergens, but for young babies and toddlers with much more vulnerable immune systems, the overload of toxins can be far too much. Try either low pile carpets that are much easier to clean, or choose a small thick pile rug that can be easily and regularly washed and can be moved to another room without fuss should any problems occur.
Choose chemical-free, natural furniture
Beautiful new furniture, painted bright colors or stained to show off the wood grain might contain cancer-causing gasses putting your little one at risk. Unbelievably, many items of baby furniture, especially cribs, crib mattresses, and baby changing tables, have been found to emit cancer-causing gasses, such as formaldehyde. Avoid any furniture that has been coated in a heavy lacquer or contains pressed woods. Check manufacturer’s labels for evidence that the furniture is made by natural processes and made with natural materials.
Clean and update your AC unit
The very machine designed to keep your indoor space comfortable and humid-free might just be home to a mold spore colony. Without proper maintenance regularly undertaken by either an HVAC contractor, or if appropriate, a simple replacement of a filter on a portable AC unit, your HVAC system could be doing more harm than good. Window air conditioners can also become prone to mold and mildew. In some cases, it may be smarter to simply replace old AC units, and invest in a model that can be regularly cleaned to stay mold-free.
In many instances, a good HVAC system can be a useful tool for maintaining the temperature and humidity of your newborn’s sleeping space. Adequate ventilation is important, and if it’s not possible to do this by keeping a window open to allow fresh air to regularly cycle into the room, then there are alternatives such as confined space air conditioners and portable air purification systems to keep climates comfortable and air free from pathogens.
Check your window sills
Instead of remodeling, focus on areas in the baby’s room which may be a likely source of bacterial or fungal growth. Wooden window sills can absorb moisture and become the perfect home to mold, such as Cladosporium, which can drastically reduce the air quality of your baby’s room. Babies are sensitive to mold, and so parents should keep a watchful eye on windowsills and any other wooden fixtures where excess moisture might gather. If in doubt, treat any signs of mold presence and invest in an air purifier to fight mold spores that may already have been released into the air.
Invest in a dehumidifier
Although an AC unit can help to manage humidity, if you have poorly ventilated bathroom and kitchen spaces, sometimes a dehumidifier is best for the job. A small space like a downstairs toilet that traps the damp can become a hotspot for unwanted mold, yeast, and bacteria. Even if that bathroom seems to be far from your newborn’s room, you’ll be surprised at how quick pathogens can spread through the home. A hygrometer can tell you if you have humidity issues in certain areas and when to use your humidifier.
Reduce pet dander
Whilst exposure to pets at a young age has been shown to be beneficial, an abundance of pet dander can cause problems for babies and toddlers. Regularly removing pet hair and pet dander will help ensure your baby is only exposed to small amounts of the allergen, helping to build their immune system and not overload it. If pets share baby’s bedding or other soft items, regularly wash them to prevent any other pathogens (animal poop, saliva, or dirt) from harming your baby.
Get a purifier for your baby’s bedroom
A high quality air purifier like the TADIRAN AIROW 3™ can be fixed discreetly to your AC unit and work to neutralize harmful pathogens in your baby’s room. An air purifying system is a great way to help support your baby’s health and protect their lungs especially in their first few months in their new room. Should there be any toxins like mold or bacteria or viruses present, the TADIRAN AIROW 3™ will help to neutralize them within a short period of time, and keep your baby’s room safer for your baby.
What is the best air purifier for infants?
Babies in their infancy not only have lungs still in development but also are less able to perform other functions that help protect them from their environment. Infants are less able to metabolize and excrete toxins that they’ve inhaled from the air. Consequently they are much more susceptible to lung infections.
Newborn babies are often kept indoors, and spend the majority of their time in their room where they sleep, are dressed, and have their diapers changed multiple times a day. One of the best ways to combat all the airborne pollutants that can become stagnant in your infant’s room is with the help of an air purifier.
An air purification device such as the TADIRAN AIROW 3™ can help eliminate pathogens such as bacteria, pet dander, mold, viruses, and VOCs that can cause a host of symptoms in infants.
Which harmful pathogens can air purifiers remove from baby rooms?
Many pathogens that pose the biggest threat are completely invisible to the naked eye. A human hair is between 50 and 70 microns in size, and pathogens are particles of much smaller sizes. PM10 particles (inhalable particles) are smaller than 10 microns and include dust, mold and pollen. PM2.5 particles (fine inhalable particles) are mostly produced outdoors such as smoke from wood burning and factory emissions. Ultrafine particles (UFPs) are less than 0.1 microns in size and make up 90% of all airborne particles. They can penetrate into the bloodstream and are linked to neurotoxicity, cancers and other life-threatening illnesses.
Along with these air particles that are all invisible to the naked eye, volatile organic compounds also pose substantial threats to newborns. These are compounds that become a gas at room temperature and can be emitted by carpets, furniture, cleaning products, paints, solvents and even personal care products like perfumes and cosmetics.
Symptoms in children can include coughs and colds, sinus congestion and difficulties breathing, dizziness, nausea, and headaches. Babies may also develop irritation to the eyes, nose and throat, and asthma. Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), has also been connected to exposure to poor indoor air quality. SIDS is the leading cause of infant mortality in developed countries.
Finding the best air purifier for newborns
A baby room air purifier can be especially useful for keeping your newborn protected from invisible and deadly pathogens lurking in the air. Whilst there are plenty of options on the market, using everything from HEPA filters to ionization technologies, a great option is the discrete and effective TADIRAN AIROW 3™. This little device is attached to wall-mounted AC units and releases hydrogen peroxide into the air. The naturally occurring H2O2 neutralizes pathogens like mold, viruses and bacteria in the air, preventing it from getting into the lungs, eyes and mouths of infants. Tests demonstrate a 99.4% decrease of aerosolized Blue Mold (Penicillium Citrinum) in a 25 cubic meter chamber over a 180-minute period and a 99.994% reduction in the RNA Virus MS2 Bacteriophage within a 60-minute timeframe. The TADIRAN AIROW 3™ is an excellent choice for parents wishing to protect their children from pathogens found in the heart of their home.