Are Air Purifiers Safe for Babies and Newborns
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Are Air Purifiers Safe for Babies and Newborns?

The arrival of a baby is a true blessing. Yet babies are the most vulnerable to germs due to their developing immune system. Adding the fact their bodies and lungs have not fully developed, we need to protect them at all costs. So the first thing we need to do is ensure our home air quality is up to the par and free from germs. But wait, Are air purifiers good for babies? Is it safe for a newborn? Do we really need one? Find out al the answers below.

Short answer

HEPA air purifiers are safe for babies and newborns.

Long answer

Everybody especially baby is vulnerable to poor air quality. Not only it will have an impact on their health, but continuous breathing to harmful particles can also halt their development growth. Even today, around 93% of the world’s children under the age of 15 years (1.8 billion) are exposed to polluted air. A staggering 50% of pneumonia deaths among children under 5 are due to indoor air pollution. More than 1 in every 4 deaths of children under 5 years is directly or indirectly related to environmental risks. Another alarming stats parents should be aware of. In 2016, 543,000 deaths in children under 5 years are due to respiratory tract infections from Household air pollution (HAP).

What Are The Benefits of Air Purifier for Baby?

The main benefit of having an air purifier for babies is it can remove all harmful pollutants in the air. Our indoor home is filled with biological contaminants, germs, and toxic gases that are often hidden from our sight. These allergens are often hidden in the rugs, ceiling or wall that will become airborne when disturbed. A good baby air purifier will capture all of those including:

  • Dust, Hair
  • Dust mites
  • Pollen
  • Pet dander
  • Mold spores
  • Bacteria, Viruses
  • Volatile Organic Compounds
  • Cigarette smoke
  • Odor and fumes
  • Chemical (VOCs, CO, CO2, NO2, Radon, Lead, Asbestos, Formaldehyde)

When your newborn and baby only breathe in healthy air, they will cry less because there is no discomfort. They will also experience fewer allergy symptoms like sneezing or breathing difficulty. More importantly, it will ensure a healthy body development growth. The babies would be at lesser risk of developing respiratory diseases like bronchitis and asthma. They will be at even lower risk of experiencing nervous system damage, organ failure, eczema, and cancer.

Babies have a faster breathing pattern than an adult. This is because they have much smaller breathing pathways. Baby’s lungs are still underdeveloped and their chest wall is more pliable. They are still not used to breathing with lungs and the associated breathing muscles.

A newborn will breathes 30-60 times a minute or slow down to 20 times per minute during their sleep. A 6 months babies will breathe about 25 to 40 times per minute. For comparison, an adult will take about 12 to 20 breaths per minute.

If you notice your baby has breathing irregularities after 6 months, this could be due to allergies like a common cold. An air purifier would be able to alleviate the symptoms.

Avoid Ozone Generator!

Remember the name, Ozone generator and Ozonator. They are the so-called “air purifier” that is bad for the baby. In fact, some models might not even use the ozone name due to the bad press. Instead, they often mask it as an ionizer or air cleaner so beware of that.

The reason why ozone generator is harmful to babies us because the device will emit millions of ozone gas. In theory, the ozone gas is supposed to disinfect microorganisms but in reality, it will destroy your tissue cells. Babies and newborns will suffer the most due to developing organs, especially on their lungs. Ozone will also take a couple of hours to dissipate in a home and it can spread from room to room. All Ozone generator is unregulated. If you are unsure if a particular air purifier is an Ozonator, check with the manufacturer.

Are Air Purifiers Safe For Newborns And Babies?

A HEPA air purifier that uses a mechanical filter is safe for babies. HEPA existed since 1940 and is been used in hospitals, nursery homes, and childcare centers. Its sole function is to pull in all the airborne contaminants into its filtration and release back only clean air.

Not all air purifiers are created equal. Some models having an inferior filtration but with a cheaper price tag, while some do the complete opposite. There are also the fake air purifiers out there that we will talk more about it later. To get the best out of HEPA air purifier baby, we will be looking into the 3 following features.

  • True HEPA filter
  • Carbon filter
  • Noise level

Let’s start with the main filtration. A True HEPA filter is capable of capturing particles as small as 0.3 microns with 99.97% efficiency. Very important as mold, pet dander, dust mites, bacteria, and viruses are all microscopic particles that can only be dealt with a HEPA filter. You do not want the babies or newborn inhaling to those germs. As for carbon filter, it’s absorption materials will take in all smoke and odor particles. This includes chemicals like VOCs, Asbestos, CO2, CO, and even radon on older homes. Lastly, the noise level also plays a big role here as some air purifiers can be unusually loud. We will pick an air purifier that is silent enough to run all night without disturbing the baby’s sleep.

In short, if the air purifier checks all 3 requirements, it will be a good baby air purifier. A happy baby equals a happy family.

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