There is something each and every one of us have in common: We all breathe air.
From the moment we are born, we begin to inhale and exhale. As a parent, we want the best clean air for our children, our spouses and ourselves. And as a parent with a child who has asthma, I am always mindful of allergens in the air and in our home. From dust to pollen to ragweed, my family has found a deep appreciation for spring-time allergy medicine. It brings us the relief we need, even if only temporary. Plus, being we live in a highly ozone-polluted city, it worries me even more for my children’s well being, since children breathe differently from adults.
According to Moms Clean Airforce.com:
- Young lungs are different from mature lungs. Babies and children breathe faster than adults. Babies take a breath about 40 times per minute, while adults breathe 12-20 times per minute.
- Children don’t just breathe more rapidly, they also literally breathe more air than adults. Children have a larger lung surface area in proportion to their weight than adults.
- They breathe 50% more air in proportion to their weight than adults. These amazing organs are working especially hard to help our children grow and thrive.
- Children also exercise more and spend more time outside compared to adults. This makes clean air especially important for your child’s health.
Children’s lungs develop throughout their childhood. In girls, lung development is complete by age 18; in boys, it continues well into their early 20s. During the time when the lungs are maturing, they are more vulnerable to damage than fully mature lungs, which is why air pollution can harm your child’s lungs, during pregnancy to early adulthood.
Air pollution can reduce the lung growth of babies and children. Later in life, reduced lung function can make people susceptible to respiratory problems. So it’s important for lifelong health that pregnant women, babies, children, and young adults have clean air to breathe.
Join the Moms Clean Air Force to help take action, and take action in your own home to help clean the air:
- Remove or reduce allergens such as roaches, pet dander, mold, and dust mites.
- Do not smoke tobacco products in or near your home. Support measures to make all public places tobacco-free.
- Prevent mold growth by lowering the humidity in your home with exhaust fans in kitchens, bathrooms and laundry rooms, or a dehumidifier.
- Increase air flow (open windows and doors) to give your house better ventilation.
- Store harmful products like pesticides and paints in a shed that is not attached to your home and always dispose of them properly.
- Install and check regularly your smoke, carbon monoxide, and radon alarms.
- Use a HEPA filter, if you want to use an air filter. Do not use air cleaners that emit ozone, which is a lung irritant.
If you feel inclined, we invite you to click this link to easily email the EPA and demand a plan that will reduce harmful pollution and protect future generations.