Accident prevention and safety promotion initiative for parents and caregivers of infants

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Environmental factors causing a threat to children

Infants are very susceptible to environmental pollution especially if it is indoors. The indoor air contamination can be caused by biomass fuels such as wood, crop residues, and animal dung and they produce a lot of carbon monoxide which can affect the children in the indoor settings. Enough exposure of the children to the indoor pollution can aggravate the risk of having acute respiratory infections which include having sore throats and colds as well as having infections such as pneumonia for the children. When the children inhale more of the carbon monoxide which is released by the biomass fuels in the indoor setting, the risk of death is high because the rate of intake of oxygen is limited and that makes the breathing process to be a problem (Calderón-Garcidueñas et al., 2014). That can affect the children negatively as well as providing more threat to them. In some instances, the indoor air pollution can expose the children to dangerous diseases like cancer because of the chemicals found in them.

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Children are highly vulnerable when it comes to increased exposure to environmental gases and that has increased the proportion of deaths among the children in the society. 36% of the death rates of children are attributed to the environmental effects (Breysse et al., 2010). According to another study, it was found out that respiratory disease symptoms are usually high among the children who usually live along the busy roads and those living near chimneys and factories. The study also helped to find out that the respiratory morbidity among the children was higher in girls as compared to the boys (Liu et al., 2013).

Strategies for mitigating indoor air pollution

In order to reduce indoor air pollution, there are various steps which have to be taken to keep the children safe from the exposure to harmful gases. One of the steps which have to be taken is ventilation of the room where the children are being kept. Making the room ventilation increases the rate of circulation of air and the harmful gases within the house are easily taken out and fresh air is taken in the house. Fans can be used in the kitchen and the bathroom and that reduces the rate of exposure to the harmful gases within the house. Smoking within the house can also be reduced and that can increase the aeration in the house. The environment where the children are kept has to be free from gases which are found in the cigarette smoke.

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The room where the child is kept has to be far away from the exposure of bad odors in the living rooms. Elimination of bad odor can be effected by cleaning all the surfaces and that can make it easy to remove all the harmful gases which can be a great risk to the child. The various cracks in the house and crevices have to be sealed appropriately and food put away in order to prevent it from exposure to pesticides used in the house. The indoor air circulation can also be improved through the use of air cleaners. This reduces the rate of allergic infections in the children as well as asthmatic attacks.

Sharing experience

After sharing the information concerning the threat posed by indoor air pollution to the children with a neighbor, there was a positive response from the interaction with the neighbor. The neighbor who I shared my information concerning the pamphlet was a woman aged 50 years. The woman was an African-American with a degree in health economics.

According to her, high exposure of the children to indoor pollution can increase the rates of death to them. She responded that regulations of air pollution have caused a lot of problems because they are ten times higher as compared to the recommendations of the world health organization. According to her, due to the constant increase motor vehicle traffic, the rates of pollution have increased and that has caused a constant threat to keep the children safe within an indoor environment. According to her, the various ways which I had suggested to be effective for minimization of pollution can be applicable to the household environment and they have to be implemented in most homes around. Her response was positive because she understood the health effects of continued exposure to harmful gases within the household environment especially for the children within the setting.

According to my assessment of the parents understanding towards the issue of indoor pollution, I learned that it is important to ventilate the rooms and also it is important to advocate for cleanliness in order to laminate some of the household odors within the house. Her understanding of indoor pollution as an environmental factor affecting the Childs health was not different from my understanding on the same topic and that provided more knowledge on the ways of eliminating indoor pollution. I learned that avoiding using air fresheners could be a move of reducing air pollution because they contain some harmful chemicals which might be deadly for the children within the household environment.

She suggested that I research more the various ways which might be useful in mitigating air pollution. We agreed on the various methods of mitigating air pollution and the causes of air pollution within the indoor environment.

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  1. Breysse, P. N., Diette, G. B., Matsui, E. C., Butz, A. M., Hansel, N. N., & McCormack, M. C. (2010). Indoor Air Pollution and Asthma in Children. Proceedings of the American Thoracic Society7(2), 102–106. http://doi.org/10.1513/pats.200908-083RM
  2. Calderón-Garcidueñas, L., Torres-Jardón, R., Kulesza, R. J., Park, S.-B., & D’Angiulli, A. (2014). Air pollution and detrimental effects on children’s brain. The need for a multidisciplinary approach to the issue complexity and challenges. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience8, 613. http://doi.org/10.3389/fnhum.2014.00613
  3. Liu, M.-M., Wang, D., Zhao, Y., Liu, Y.-Q., Huang, M.-M., Liu, Y., … Dong, G.-H. (2013). Effects of Outdoor and Indoor Air Pollution on Respiratory Health of Chinese Children from 50 Kindergartens. Journal of Epidemiology23(4), 280–287. http://doi.org/10.2188/jea.JE20120175
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