As a child, I remember that there were a couple of difficult months in a year where most children in my school or neighborhood would get a cough or cold. My mom would call them the ‘double season’, that means months where two seasons overlapped and hence wreaked havoc on people’s immunity. But, nowadays, those couple of months have stretched to the whole year. In my (daughter’s school’s) mother’s whatsapp group, I, more or less, daily hear mothers complaining about their kids having terrible chest congestion or nasty cough. And, then my daughter comes home very upset on the days when her friends don’t turn up to school as they are not well.
Mumbai is one of the most polluted cities of India. And, it can’t even boast of the many green areas except Aarey and SGNP, which eat up pollution. So you see, where does all the pollution go? Inside our lungs, and our little babies’.
I got hold of this study by UNICEF on Clean Air For Children, and I was stumped when I read this:
- Almost one million children die from pneumonia each year, more than half of which are directly related to air pollution.
- The cases of respiratory conditions like bronchitis and asthma in small children are rapidly rising.
- Pregnant mothers if exposed to high levels of particulate matter – PM2.5, (they are finer than the human hair and hence can be easily and deeply inhaled by the lungs, causing respiratory problems), can run the risk of miscarriage, preterm delivery leading to lower birthweight.
- The children’s immune system is still developing and hence they are more vulnerable to viruses, bacterias and other infections.
- The effects of air pollution on a child can have lifelong health complications.
This is disturbing, isn’t it? Now, we can stop sending our kids to play outside so that they are not exposed to outdoor pollution. But, that’s not a practical solution? For these reasons:
- Our children still go to school and various other classes.
- Outdoor play is a must for kids for them to develop both physically and mentally. And secondly, try to stop them if you can! My 5-year old shamelessly chews my head if I don’t allow her her mandatory playtime in the garden with her friends every evening.
- They’d be still exposed to the air in their home, which is more polluted than the outside air.
We don’t realize, but we have enough pollution creating miscreants at home that we never think about. Phenyl, toilet and bathroom cleaners, window cleaners, etc. that we so liberally use while cleaning our home. The deodorant spray that we can’t do without. The cigarette smoke that lurks in every corner of the house when smoked at home. The various harmful gases that are produced when we cook at home.
Outdoor and indoor air pollution when combined are directly linked with pneumonia and other respiratory diseases that account for almost one in 10 under-5 deaths. Air pollution is one of the leading dangers to children’s health. And, we must reduce air pollution.
The Government is already taking steps to reduce it, but it’s not an easy job. It might take years, or decades for that to happen, especially in a developing country like India. As for the indoor air pollution, that is more in our hands. Smoking can be shunned or limited to outdoors only, while the use of deodorant can be completely stopped. I mean, come on, no one will die from asphyxiation on smelling our underarms. Also, we can limit the use of various cleaners. But, what about the cooking. We still need to cook, right?
So, you see we can limit the indoor pollution, but can’t completely control it. So what do we do?
Buy an air purifier. Air purifiers can reduce allergens like pollen, dust mites, etc. thereby reducing indoor air pollution and releasing pure and healthy air. There are many air purifiers in the market, take a look at them before you buy. But, how about German-GUI lab certified Dr. Aeroguard by Eureka Forbes. Nothing comes with a better trust factor than that.
Well, the weather’s going to stay bad today, tomorrow and for many days to come unless we take the matters in our own hands. We are the mothers. We care for our children. So let’s SAVE OUR CHILDREN!!