As parents, our children’s health is our #1 priority. So, naturally, we do everything we can to keep their living space clean and safe.
But while we daily clean the visible messes, the invisible or hidden ones are what can cause the most harm to their health.
Pollutants like VOCs, biological agents, toxins and inhalable particles are usually not seen with the naked eye. And while you may not notice them floating about, you will notice the health risks they bring to your child.
That’s why we’re focusing today’s article on improving the indoor air quality of the nursery – where your child spends most of their first year.
What are some of the indoor air pollutants you should be aware of? Where do they come from? And are there ways to prevent them from contaminating your child’s bedroom?
Keep reading to find out!
Potential Indoor Air Pollutants In Your Baby’s Room
The last thing we want, as parents, is to feel powerless in keeping our children healthy. And thankfully, that’s not the case here!
We control the power of poor indoor air quality in our homes.
The key is understanding what the pollutants are and how they get into your home in the first place.
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)
We discussed the dangers of VOCs in a series of previous blogs – including our recent article on home renovations and indoor air quality.
VOCs are gasses released from particular materials and liquids. This can include furniture, carpets and home cleaning products. And sadly, most nursery furniture doesn’t take this into consideration.
In a recent study, scientists discovered that crib mattresses can release around 30 unique VOCs! Making the crib mattress alone a huge source of indoor air pollutants!
Did you know:
Studies have shown that children exposed to high levels of formaldehyde (a type of VOC) have a higher chance of developing asthma!
Mould, viruses, animal dander, dust mites, pollen…etc.
According to the EPA, these are all examples of biological pollutants commonly found indoors.
Biological agents can contaminate your home in numerous ways – through your pets, HVAC system, high home humidity… even people!
That’s why most parents ask that you wash your hands thoroughly before holding their baby. Because infants are especially susceptible to particular illnesses carried by biological agents.
Inhalable particular matter with a diameter smaller than 2.5 microns are PM2.5 particles. Some examples of PM2.5 particle sources include:
- Vehicle exhaust
- Cooking byproducts
- Burning candles
- Wood-burning fireplaces…etc.
In that article, we mentioned how smoke from your BBQ or even pollutants from your oven can circulate indoor air. And how simply opening a window or keeping a screen door open during a bonfire or BBQ can quickly contaminate your home!
Larger than PM2.5 but still inhalable are PM10 – i.e. pollen, dust and mould.
And as you can probably guess, these particles also enter your home quite easily. Whether that’s through an open window to a hay field in your backyard, moving dust around indoors or even bringing in fresh flowers!
Ultrafine Particles (UFPs)
Even tinier than PM2.5 are ultra-fine particles, called UFPs. These particles are actually small enough to,
a) Penetrate lung tissue and
b) Enter your bloodstream!
Some UFPs occur naturally, while others are not.
Human-Made UFP Sources:
- Burning garbage
- Indoor cooking
5 Steps To Keeping The Air In Your Baby’s Room Clean And Healthy
Now that we know what we’re up against, we can learn how to monitor, mitigate, remove and prevent these harmful pollutants in the nursery!
1. Install An Air Quality Monitor
You’ve heard of a baby monitor, but what about an air quality monitor?
While a baby monitor is helpful to make sure your baby is sleeping and breathing normally. An air quality monitor ensures that the air your baby breathes is safe and healthy.
When shopping for an air quality monitor, look for one that alerts you the second air quality begins to decline.
3. Install An Air Filtration System
Remember earlier when we said we can help control air quality? One of the most effective ways to do that is with air filtration!
An air filtration system with a HEPA filter is a sure way to remove 99.97% of:
- Dust mites
- Airborne particles (with a size of 0.3 microns)
- Pet dander
3. Increase Ventilation
Ventilation is a crucial factor in good air quality. Without it, air can become stale, musty and humid – encouraging the growth of mould, mildew and dust mites!
Although opening a window for a few minutes each day can help improve airflow in the nursery, it’s not the most effective solution. Especially since that invites pollutants like pollen, smoke and dust indoors.
Instead, we recommend installing a whole home ventilation system! This system ensures your air is always fresh and clean.
4. Control Humidity Levels
Humidity is another major factor in good air quality.
If humidity is too high, the nursery will be damp, stuffy and hard to breathe in – not to mention having increased bacterial growth.
But if humidity is too low, the nursery will be dry – potentially causing skin irritation, eczema, dry eyes and even nosebleeds.
A whole-home humidifier system can help control humidity levels – keeping it a healthy 40%!
5. Use a HEPA Vacuum
As mentioned above, a HEPA filter can remove 99.97% of particles sizing at 0.3 microns.
An air filtration system can remove these airborne particles before they land. But a HEPA filter vacuum can effectively lift these particles from the floor.
And unlike a regular vacuum that recirculates particles back into the air, a HEPA filter traps them safely inside – out of your indoor air!
Baby-Proof Your Indoor Air Quality With Shipton’s CleanAir Solutions!
Our indoor air quality experts in Hamilton, Ontario, always strive to keep you and your family safe and healthy at home. That’s why we offer only the best indoor air quality products on the market!
So you can rest easy while your baby breathes easy.