Your house should be a safe haven for you and your family. But hazards might be lurking undetected that can pose health risks in your very home. Children are particularly susceptible to these risks. Learn about four indoor health hazards and how to prevent them.
Poor Indoor Air Quality
If the air in your home doesn’t get ventilated properly, particles can collect in the air that affect indoor air quality. This can cause immediate symptoms such as fatigue, dizziness, headaches, and irritated eyes, nose, and throats. Longer-lasting health effects can include respiratory disease and asthma. Children, with their still-developing lungs, are at particular risk.
Improve your home’s air quality by changing the filters at least once a month and making sure vents aren’t blocked. You might even need to have an air purifier installed.
Your tap water might be harbouring contaminants that are particularly harmful to kids and their growing bodies. Examples include lead, nitrate, and manganese. Steps you can take to reduce their chances of exposure include not mixing tap water with formula when bottle-feeding babies and using water filters. These can range from simple carbon filters to sophisticated reverse osmosis filters. An experienced plumber can install the appropriate water filtration system to meet your needs.
To determine the quality of your tap water, reach out to your local health department — an official might be able to test for common contaminants and either put your mind at ease or indicate what type of filter you’ll need to have installed.
There are the obvious chemicals and cleaners that can poison your child if he or she ingests them. Some herbicides containing glyphosate are also known to be toxic and can cause cancers. Then there are the less-detectable ones present in your home’s air that can have more subtle, but long-lasting health effects such as respiratory and organ issues. These are known as volatile organic compounds (VOCs), commonly found in glues, paints, solvents, exhaust, and more. In your home, they might be lurking in your upholstery, rugs, and cleaning products.
To lower the VOC levels in your home, use all-natural cleaning and beauty products, store VOC-containing products outside the home, and use HEPA filters to trap these fine particles.
Mold and Mildew
Mould and mildew thrive in moist conditions, so any water damage to your home can set the scene for a serious problem. If your child is inhaling these spores, he or she is more at risk for developing respiratory issues such as asthma and allergies. The early signs, however, can be subtle and include sneezing, coughing, a runny nose, and irritated eyes and throat.
Prevent or manage mould growth by having a plumber inspect your pipes and repair leaks immediately. Also, use functioning exhaust fans in bathrooms and kitchens, place dehumidifiers in damp areas, and use HEPA filters with your HVAC system.
Don’t let your home be the source of any of these health hazards. Keep your kids safe by watching for signs of air or water issues and following these tips to prevent problems from developing.