Updated: Oct 9, 2020
‘the health impact of the air within our homes and schools needs to be taken seriously as a significant source of ill health.’ The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health.
Clean your home and teach your children about gases with facts, experiments and videos.
This April we marked the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, the national day for the environment, whilst most of us were in lockdown.
One rare piece of good news is that as result of the lockdown, air quality has improved in many of our cities.
But what about the air quality and hygiene in our homes?
Recent science reports that all may not be as we believe it to be: ‘the health impact of the air within our homes and schools needs to be taken seriously as a significant source of ill health.’ The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health.
Good health starts at home! Our son was born 4 months prematurely and has suffered from chronic lung disease, sleep apnea and a wheeze. At times he has needed to be given assisted ventilation or oxygen. He has an ileostomy (an opening made into the small intestine so that poo can be diverted into a stoma bag outside of his tummy) and a gastrostomy (an opening in his abdomen that allows him to be tube fed) so life can be messy and smelly. Bad smells prompt us to open windows, but not all pollutants are detectable by smell. Some everyday things like cleaning products, air fresheners and simply showering or cooking affect our indoor air quality and can worsen asthma or allergies. They can also affect our concentration.
I was surprised to find that every time we clean, chemical reactions occur so cleaning and household chores are a balancing act between hygiene and health. What can we do to improve the air quality in our home?
Here are my top tips and tricks:
- Air your rooms - let fresh air in and get stuffy air out. - Keep the kitchen and bathroom doors closed. - Turn the extractor fan on every time you cook and shower. Leave it running for 10 minutes once you have finished. Damp and mould can exacerbate symptoms of allergies and respiratory conditions. If you have damp issues get a dehumidifier, if you are a council tenant you can request one from your local authority. Otherwise rent or buy. Allergy UK have a list of tested and endorsed product HERE. - Clean extractor fan filters regularly, they harbour dust, odours, bacteria and viruses. - Use chemical free cleaning products. My favourite ingredients are water, bicarbonate of soda, vinegar and lemons. I also have a subscription to Splosh for loo cleaner, washing up liquid and washing powder (click here for a discount code and to read more)
- Open the window or turn on the extractor fan after using cleaning products, nail polish and hairspray.
- Make sure all gas appliances and stoves are maintained and that you have carbon monoxide alarms fitted. This is very important.
Carbon monoxide fumes are silent, highly poisonous fumes that are produced by the incomplete burning of fossil fuels. This can happen when gas appliances such as cookers, heaters, gas fires and solid fuel burners have been incorrectly fitted, or poorly maintained. It can also occur if flues, chimneys or vents have faults. Learn how to spot the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning, and what to do HERE.
- Dust with a hoover. If you have carpets they will need hoovering daily to remove dust mites - empty and clean your hoover regularly - bacteria can live in here for up to 2 months.
- Wash you dishcloths and sponges daily and at 60 degrees, they harbour nasty germs.
Here are some fun ways you can involve your children in looking after their environment:
. Make your own air freshener - tea naturally absorbs odours so will help take away those pesky smells. Dry out your tea bags and then put a few drops of your favourite essential oil on then to create an air freshener. Top up with essential oils every few days or when you feel you need too. . Make your own cleaning products - get the children scrubbing click HERE
. Watch a series of videos to demonstrate the properties of gases - collect soot from a candle, put out a fire, make a lava lamp and inflate a hand. Click HERE
. Fascinating Facts about gases for older kids. Click HERE
If your struggling and need a little motivation then always feel free to send me a message. And please remember to share your tips. SOURCES Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health - 'The Inside Story: Health effects of indoor air quality on children and young people': Allergy UK for factsheets on hay fever, asthma and respiratory allergy Splosh Royal Society of Chemistry Queen of Clean 'Cleaning with White Wine Vinegar' #Air #Cleaning #Tips&Tricks #Chemistry #HomeEducation #Allergy #Respiratory