Are air purifiers safe for babies?

An air purifier removes pollutants from indoor air, making it cleaner and safer to breathe. It uses a filtration system to avoid tiny unhealthy particles and allergens from making their way into our lungs.

In recent years, more and more people purchase air purifiers for their baby’s room, especially if they suffer from a respiratory condition like asthma or allergies. And placing an air purifier is becoming habitual in a baby’s nursery, even if they don’t have any respiratory problem.

 

Risk factors for babies

Some of the main risk factors for infant asthma include being exposed to second-hand smoke, viral infections, being born prematurely, a mother with asthma and the presence of dust mites and cockroaches in the home.

Smoking is certainly one of the major problems that cause breathing complications in babies, but also is one of the easiest to avoid. Do not smoke at all if you have a baby in the house – even if they are not present because the particles remain either in the air or stuck on the surfaces. And try to avoid smoking in the car too.

However, if a person smokes, encourage them to wear a designated jacket when smoking outside and to leave it there. Do this to avoid bringing unhealthy particles into the house. And of course, think about purchasing an air purifier with HEPA filter. It’s ideal to keep a unit running in the baby’s nursery 24/7.

 

Some air purifiers can be harmful for children

As strange as it sounds, there are in fact some indoor air purifiers that produce ozone and claim to be efficient at removing all kinds of pollutants. Ozone is presented as a cleaning agent that can have multiple benefits. However, scientific research tells a different story.

According to a research on Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) conducted by the United States Environmental Protection Agency, ozone has little potential to remove indoor air contaminants at concentrations that do not exceed public health standards. The same is said of their efficiency to remove odour-causing chemicals, as well as bacteria, viruses, mould or other biological pollutants.

The key phrase here is “at concentrations that do not exceed public health”. Which means that ozone has the potential to clean the air at higher concentrations. But, is it something you want for your children?

 

Good ozone and bad ozone

You’ve probably heard of the ozone layer, which is many kilometers high in the stratosphere and protects us from harmful radiation from the sun, so ozone is good for us when it’s up there. But having ozone in the air we breathe is another story. It is particularly harmful to our respiratory system and can cause or worsen respiratory diseases, and damage the lungs. Studies show that it is particularly dangerous for asthmatic people, who can start manifesting symptoms after only one hour of peak exposure.

Learn more about Ozone Pollution.

How does an air purifier help your baby?

Firstly, make sure your air purifier does not produce ozone. It is an important measure for your baby’s wellbeing.

By filtering out unhealthy pollutants, an air purifier can reduce the exposure of a baby as well as the likelihood of them contracting asthma or allergies.

Since a baby’s immune system is not fully developed they are more susceptible to allergens and pollutants than adults. Even though these particles are also damaging for adults, their immune systems have better chances to deal with the particles than a baby’s.

Another important benefit for your baby is a better sleep. Have in mind that the levels of growth hormones tend to rise during sleep, but if the baby’s nursery is contaminated with allergens they can really mess her peaceful sleep and might compromise her normal development to some degree.

And if it has been detected that your baby suffers from some respiratory condition, you can help to reduce the burden of irritants on her lungs by installing an air purifier in her room.