- The respiratory systems of children with allergies or asthma will be extremely sensitive to stimulation caused by particulate matter. In cases where these children inhale PM (particulate matter) 2.5 pollutants, it will cause their illnesses to deteriorate much more quickly than in other children.
- Parents and guardians should not allow their children to play outside, whether in school or at home, in order to ensure they avoid inhaling PM2.5 pollutants.
- If your child experiences a runny nose, coughing, sneezing, difficulty breathing, a tight chest, or stinging, watery and red eyes, they should be taken to see a pediatrician in order to undergo a detailed health check. In some cases, it may also be necessary to carry out additional assessments with a specialist physician.
The current air pollution situation enveloping the Greater Bangkok area is causing great fear and anxiety for all of its residents. Everyone is keen to understand more about PM2.5 and the methods of prevention suitable to stop the decreased air quality from having a negative effect on the health of our relatives, ourselves, and more importantly, our children.
PM (Particulate Matter) 2.5 refers to tiny particles with an average diameter of less than or equal to 2.5 micrometres being present in the atmosphere. They are produced by the burning of fossil fuels, including from vehicle engines, the burning of sewage, cigarette smoke and the pollution resulting from construction. The fact that PM2.5 is so small means that it can be inhaled into the respiratory system, travel through the airways, and eventually be transferred into the bloodstream. The effects of these chemicals on the body are numerous, including a decrease in the amount of antioxidants within the body, thereby resulting in respiratory inflammation in the elderly and young children. Additionally, those with chronic respiratory conditions, such as allergies and asthma, are at risk of their conditions flaring up, with the long-term effects being a reduction in lung function. More than that people who had cardiovascular problem can be aggravated by this pollution.
For children with allergies or asthma, the PM2.5 pollutants will cause their illnesses to deteriorate much more quickly than in other children. The ways to tell if a child is suffering any ill-effects from the aforementioned air pollutants, as well as whether or not they have inhaled large amounts of PM2.5, is to check for a runny nose, coughing, sneezing, a tightness in the chest, difficulty breathing, or red, watery and stinging eyes. If the child is suffering from any of the symptoms, take them to a pediatrician to carry out a detailed health examination. In cases where it is deemed necessary, a specialist physician may also need to be consulted.
Protecting children against the effects of the aforementioned air pollution can be carried out in the following ways:
- Restrict outdoor activities.
- In cases where children must venture outside, ensure they wear an N95 safety mask which covers the mouth and nose.
“N95 safety masks offer protection against tiny molecules, including PM2.5, small virus, and bacterial, such as tuberculosis. These masks provide high levels of protection against dust and air pollution by filtering at least 95% of dust particles measuring between 0.1-0.3 microns. N95 masks should only be worn once they’ve been fitted properly, after carrying out a fit test by pushing down on the upper area to fit it tightly against the nose bridge. Then, the straps should be pulled tight before breathing in and out to check for any escaping air.”
- Close all windows and doors to stop pollutants from entering the home.
- Play your part in reducing pollution by carefully managing any potential sources of additional pollution.
- Children with congenital health disorders, such as asthma and allergies affecting the respiratory system should ensure they are taking medicines as prescribed by their doctor. Parents should keep a stash of medicine with them in case any of the child’s conditions flare up.