Facts about Indoor Air Quality in School and Children’s Health
A safe and healthy indoor air quality is important because according to the American Lung Association, poor indoor air quality can harm our health. Poor indoor air quality is marked by the presence of harmful particles that can easily get caught in our eyes, nasal passage, skin, and lungs. When this happens, you may experience eye irritation, nausea, itchy throat and eyes, and many more. Prolonged exposure to airborne chemicals is found to cause heart and lung disease, and serious health illness like cancer.
Facts about Children’s Health
According to studies, most Americans spend most of their time indoors. That’s also true among children between going to school and staying at home. Here are other facts that parents need to know about their children’s health:
- Kids breathe in more volumes of air compared to adults
- Kids’ organs are still developing during their first couple of years; therefore, their immune system is not that strong yet
- Their height makes them closer to the ground which increases their chance of inhaling heavier airborne particles.
- Infants and young kids breathe through their mouths; therefore, making them more susceptible to harmful particles and fibers that can irritate their lungs.
- Their heart beats faster than adults, allowing substances to get absorbed in the body faster.
It is important to maintain good air quality at home and in school because kids spend most of their time in these places. You can do an indoor air quality test to determine if your home or classroom is contaminated with pollutants. Here are other ways on how to detect contaminated indoor air:
- Walk through your classroom or around the school and look for mold filled areas, cracked walls (where Radon and other harmful gases may enter), chemical leaks, and other unusual smell.
- Report findings and schedule immediate repair; preferably when there are no classes.
- Propose regular cleaning and maintenance of air conditioners, heaters, ventilation systems, and other HVAC systems.
- Improve indoor ventilation as wood furnishings often contain formaldehyde and may use paint with lead.
- Propose removal of water damaged furnishings like ceiling tiles, carpets, and wallboards as they are possible breeding places of molds and other bacteria.
Children are more susceptible to illnesses and prolonged exposures to harmful chemicals and bacteria and may result to more serious health problems. It is the responsibility of the school, parents, and guardians to provide a healthy environment for children at all times.