Air pollution can have lifelong impact on child’s immune system
It can also impact children’s immune system, along with lung and brain development.fitness Updated: Dec 12, 2017 12:47 IST
Children are one of the most vulnerable to the ill effects of air pollution and it can have lifelong health implications for them. Many studies have shown that air pollution is strongly associated with respiratory conditions such as pneumonia, bronchitis and asthma, among others.
It can also impact children’s immune system, along with lung and brain development. If left untreated, some health complications related to air pollution can last a lifetime. There are various studies in the past which show how pollution hampers lung function and brain development in children. The volume of inhaled air also varies widely with the activity level; actively playing or exercising children inhale much greater volumes than those who are sedentary or asleep.
This difference in breathing behavior may also increase the child’s risk of pulmonary exposure to particulate matters. The lungs and brains of children can develop much better with cleaner air.
Speaking on the effects of air pollution on children, Girish Bapat, Blueair Director West and South Asia Region, said, “Children are most vulnerable to air pollution than adults. They are at high risk from inhaled toxins because of their developing lungs and immune system. Some children are more susceptible than others. Individuals suffering from chronic lung disease, particularly asthma, are potentially at greater risk than those not having such conditions. It’s advisable to take necessary precautions. Parents can also make use of the technology solutions like air purifiers to combat the effects of air pollution.”
Dr. Shaguna C Mahajan, Neonatologist and Pediatrician - Shishu Pediatric Clinic, and Visiting Consultant at MAX Hospital and Fortis Hospital, Gurugram, said, “Pollution effects on children are acute and surface out long term complications on their body. Nowadays, children are more prone to coughing, wheezing, chest congestion and colds. Children are now prone to so many allergies at a very young age that they have to carry these problems for the rest of their life.”
The levels of particulate matter (PM) 2.5 have serious health implications such as asthma, bronchitis, chronic respiratory symptoms including, shortness of breath, painful breathing, and premature deaths as these tend to get lodged in the lung and can even enter the bloodstream.
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