How to keep toddlers and young children safe from smog?

There is too much concern around about the air pollution issue which is getting out of control with every passing day. In India, Delhi tops the chart of being the most polluted city and is reeling under the effects of smog which is air mixed with smoke. This smoke is usually the air sent out by the vehicles plying on the roads and industrial wastes. It is hazardous because it consists of fine particles, gases like carbon monoxide (CO), carbon dioxide (CO2), sulphur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen oxides (NO2), and ground-level ozone, which are very harmful pollutants. These chemicals are both highly reactive and oxidizing. Here is how smog affects your health.

Continuous inhalation of smog can do us a whole deal of damage. The worst affected are always the elderly, pregnant woman and children. For children, it is more difficult because unlike adults they have not learnt to deal with the environmental effects easily. As parents, the onus lies on us to ensure that we are able to shield them from the harmful effects of smog. Not that you can do much about it, but still taking simple precautions can help. Here are five dos and don’ts to follow staying away from fog.

We spoke to Dr Arvind Kate, Chest Physician, Zen Hospital, Mumbai to know how to keep your kids safe from smog. Here is what he had to say:

  1. As much as possible try and avoid going to places that are filled with smog.
  2. In case you have to visit those places try to go at a time when the smog is settled. Avoid frequently smog filled places during the morning, late afternoon and evening.
  3. Avoid high-intensity exercises as it will make you breathe in more air that is filled with smog.
  4. Make your child wear N95 masks as they can filter out dangerous airborne particles. Make sure the fit is secure with no outside gaps to let outside air in. The gap would negate the positive benefit and protection from the mask by allowing pollutant particles back in
  5. Try to keep your child indoors as much as possible as that will have less effect of the smog on the immature lungs.

Image source: Shutterstock

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