Zee Media Bureau/Salome Phelamei
New Delhi: Air pollution is becoming a major environmental health problem affecting individuals of all age groups. Air pollutants when inhaled can have serious impact on human health, affecting lungs and the respiratory system as well as the heart.
Air pollution consists of several main types of pollutants - particulate matter (PM10 or PM 2.5), sulfur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), ozone (O3) and carbon monoxide (CO).
Children most vulnerable
While air pollution is hazardous to every individual's health, children are infants are at greater risk because their immune system and lungs are not fully developed yet.
Adverse health effects in children
- Air pollution makes your child's asthma symptoms worse
- It can increase respiratory infections
- It can decrease lung function
- It can make children more sensitive to allergens
- Air pollutants increases mortality risks for those living in highly polluted areas
- It can increase sickness rates
What you can do to reduce the risk
- Check air pollution levels in your area and plan accordingly
- Avoid outdoor activities when smog levels are high
- If kids must go outside, try rescheduling energetic activities for early morning
- Ensure kids put on anti-pollution masks when outdoors
- Make sure that your child drink lots of fluids (water and natural fruit juices) when it is hot
- Try to avoid peak rush hours when pollution levels are highest
- Know your child's health – if your kid has asthma or other respiratory conditions, monitor the situation with your doctor and take appropriate precautionary measures.