The Benefits of Clean Air for Your Baby
You have chosen your layette, got your overnight bag for the hospital packed and everything is all ready for your babies arrival. You have sterilized everything in sight and made sure to eradicate every possible germ.
Something you may not have thought about is the quality of air your baby will be breathing. Though some of the problems can come from inside the home itself, off gassing from carpets, paints and other items brought into the home to pets and the allergens associated with our furry friends, many come from outside.
Unfortunately we do have to worry about pollutants from vehicle exhaust, smog, pesticides, insecticides and other pollutants that are regularly found in the air inside and outside our homes.
A recent article in the Los Angeles Times points out how these pollutants can affect brain development and having clean air is important both during gestation and for infants and young children.
Exposure to pollutants has been linked to Hyperactivity and ADHD as well as other behavior and cognitive problems. Though you can’t protect your baby from all the air everywhere you can make sure that you have clean air in your own home by using an air purifier.
Purifiers with true HEPA filters remove 99.97 of particulates 3 microns or larger which means significantly cleaner air for your baby. Add an activated charcoal filter and you will remove gasses from the air as well as offensive smells from pets and diapers.
In a report produced by the US National Library of Medicine and the National Institute of Health ties exposure of low levels of pollutants to reduced infant health. Infant health has been directly linked to achievement in school and earning capacity in later life.
Though there are often higher levels of pollutants in large cities, you will still find a number of pollutants in suburban and rural areas. Pollutants from industrial plants can travel for more than a mile. Many people who live within the range of plants that produce toxins and agriculture with uses pesticides and insecticides aren’t even aware that they are being exposed.
The problem is that pollutants and allergens aren’t going to be easily and quickly eliminated from the environment but you can make sure the air in your own home is free from these toxins that can harm your child’s development.
We do recommend getting an air purifier even before your baby is born, but after your baby is born and home from the hospital it is even more crucial. There are air purifying units that will fit into just about any budget and sized to work in any room.
In addition to removing particulates and gasses some units will even remove bacteria, viruses and molds which can seriously impact your babies’ health. This guide on the best air purifiers, will help you navigate the newest technologies and find the right air purifiers for your family.
A few tips to keep in mind as you are looking for the right purifiers for you home, check the prices for replacement filters as well as the intervals at which you need to change them. Having dirty filters can actually make air quality worse so you always want to have filters on hand, though some technologies do allow you to rinse or wash filters for re-use.
Consider the energy cost and the cost of replacement filters in your yearly cost to run your air purifiers. Some units might seem to have a low cost at first glance, but the cost to operate makes them less cost effective and another unit that is more expensive at initial purchase might actually cost less over time.
When delving into the world of clean air you might come across filters for your central heating and AC system that claim to provide clean air. For the most part filters for home heating and cooling systems use a MERV rating system.
MERV stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value and usually the higher the MERV the better job it does at removing particulates from the air. There are even some HEPA filters for central home heating and cooling systems.
At first glance this seems like a great solution, however the higher MERV rating and the use of HEPA filters in a central air system means that your whole system has to work harder to pull air through the filter and into your system.
Central heating and cooling systems are not designed for these kinds of filters and they will considerably reduce your systems efficiency and increase your heating and cooling cost. It is still important to always use filters with your central air system and to change them regularly, at least once a month.
However using your central air system as a way to purify the air in your home is not efficient or cost effective. Air purifiers are designed to purify the air in your home and can even remove gasses, odors, bacteria, viruses, mold and allergens helping to promote a healthy environment for your growing child.