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The air we breathe

The air we breathe

Are babies more sensitive to external conditions than adults?
True. Children react sensitively to what is happening around, and hence to the quality of the air they breathe.

The atmosphere of large cities affects their health is not the best way: many children have problems with the respiratory system (from frequent bronchitis to asthma). Their lungs simply cannot withstand the onslaught of car exhaust! It is also very important to protect babies from the action of an unfavorable environment because their respiratory system has not yet matured, it is only developing.

If for some reason (for example, due to illness) the natural course of development is disturbed, the lungs will not be able to recover fully. For clarity, we give an example: the lungs of an adult consist of 300–600 million alveoli, and in a newborn there are only 25–30 million.

Is it true that summer is harder to breathe in the city?
Oddly enough, it is. The flow of cars is increasing, and the concentration of harmful microparticles that engines thrown into the air rises. In windy and rainy weather, atmospheric pollutants are sprayed, diluted with rain, and their concentration decreases.

And on a hot day, it becomes harder for us to endure habitual conditions that were previously not so noticeable due to wind and rain. By the way, the summer “steam room” is one of the reasons why experts advise taking kids away from the city for the summer.

Air out of town is cleaner than in the city?
In most cases, yes. The concentration of harmful elements that cars emit into the air is much lower in the country. Although, of course, it all depends on the area in which you live.

For example, if your baby is allergic to pollen and you live very far from the road, it will only manifest itself with the symptoms of pollinosis: a runny nose, conjunctivitis, and slight breathing difficulties. But if you live near the road, these symptoms will worsen. In addition, air pollution from car exhausts enhances the action of other harmful substances, namely infectious pathogens, such as viruses that affect the respiratory tract and allergens.

Consequently, life outside the city does not protect babies by 100% from the effects of harmful atmospheric factors. To find out if the ecology of the space around you is safe, look around.

There are many organizations that test the environment.

The air we breathe

It turns out that the cleanest air is in the house?
No, it is not. In our apartments, too, “live” allergens. To protect kids, you shouldn’t start dogs, cats and birds, declare war on cockroaches, house mites (they are not visible to the eye and live in house dust), mold and other irritants.

Strong odors, organic solvents, phenol vapors from synthetic furniture panels also affect the well-being of babies not in the best way. It strongly pollutes the air and open fire (especially kitchen gas stoves), especially if you forget to ventilate the apartment.

As experience shows, kids who live in apartments with gas stoves, often suffer from respiratory diseases and colds.

Does the air in the house become better if you air the rooms more often?
Exactly . Do not live in a locked place, an apartment or house should be aired at least once or twice a day. Allergens and viruses in the air after that will be much less.

Of course, when you open the windows, you let air into the house from the street, but there is no trouble in it: inside you breathe in the same air plus home pollutants.

Not too clean air affects only the lungs of babies?
Not true . Unfavorable external conditions violate the natural mechanism of adaptation and regulation of the body of children, the immune system begins to falter. In addition, as it became known, in such conditions, children can begin conjunctivitis (by the way, this applies not only to babies).

Symptoms of these conjunctivitis are similar to allergic, but in fact their appearance is directly dependent on the action of ozone and ultraviolet rays. And this, unfortunately, is for everything: the harmful substances that are in the air weaken the immune system, and children often catch cold.

Another problem of urban children: skin irritation, or rather, atopic dermatitis.

Composition of air – the cause of allergies in babies?
This is not quite true. An allergy occurs if the baby has a predisposition: adverse environmental conditions only increase it, and the “passing” allergen triggers the mechanism. Air polluting elements do not cause, but provoke allergies.

In Russia, sulfur dioxide and large dust particles predominate among atmospheric pollutants, which irritate the respiratory tract and cause nasopharyngitis, SARS, and bronchitis in babies.

Is it true that new diesel models of cars pollute the air much less?
Yes and no . Diesel engines still emit 65% of harmful volatile particles into the air! The components of this dust in infants cause irritation of the lower respiratory tract, can interfere with gas exchange in the lungs and the supply of oxygen to the tissues of the body.

Nitrogen oxides, ozone and volatile organic components such as benzene (benzopyrene) are added to the microparticles. Reducing the number of cars and moving industrial enterprises outside the city limits rather than improving engines will help reduce air pollution.

The air we breathe

Do you need to know how clean the air around us is?
Required. This information will help parents and doctors prevent potential problems. Contaminated air does not affect the health of babies all the time, the concentration of harmful elements and the time of their action is important. Researchers of the influence of adverse conditions on children found out that even a not too strong increase in pollution is enough that in 2–3 days the babies have symptoms of respiratory failure.

Therefore, in those moments when the concentration of harmful substances becomes high, it is advisable to take precautions. For example, we know that dangerous elements accumulate mainly near the surface of the earth, which means that it is better to postpone the walk with the baby for some time.

If you still decide to go outside, try to engage him with not too active games.

Is it true that during the walk the kids need protection?
True . It is better to walk with the baby away from the roads, enterprises and in no case in a confined space (for example, not in the “well” yard). The concentration of harmful substances in the air decreases sharply if you move 50 meters away from the road. We have already said that hazardous substances accumulate near the ground, so the higher the baby carriage, the less harmful substances the baby will inhale. In addition, do not interfere with the awning over the stroller.

It is curious that thirty years ago, when the level of contamination was much lower, children were walking only in high wheelchairs with a closed top.

Does passive smoking harm your baby?
Exactly . Tobacco smoke is very bad for the lungs, and this applies not only to smokers! Children who inhale tobacco smoke are three times more likely to have a cold and have respiratory problems.

Is there a vaccine against the action of harmful elements that children inhale?
Essentially, yes. True, it was created for those babies who already have diseases. The first asthma vaccine has just been tested on asthmatics and allergies in France. The study involved 20% of adults and about 80% of children.

Unfortunately, the vaccine is not universal, it will help in the fight against certain, the most common allergens. Of course, specialists would like to prevent the harmful effects of pollutants, but there are no means that could help in this matter.

This means that only his parents can protect the baby, because they choose the environment in which he will live and grow.

Hardening makes babies stronger and they are less likely to get sick?
This is true . Not only hardening, but also gymnastics, massage, breathing exercises are very useful for children. These classes strengthen the immune system and help the body of children to properly adapt to external conditions.

As for children who have diseases of the respiratory system, they are engaged in special programs. There are children’s breathing schools or asthma schools where kids go along with their parents.

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