Guide for Parents: Indoor Air Quality With Kids In Your Home

A big part of our mission here at PureFilters is to help you keep your home’s indoor air fresh, clean, and toxin-free for your kids -- easily and without any stress.

Unfortunately, kids are the most susceptible to the harmful effects of indoor air pollutants. Just look at these surprising facts:

  • According to the Canadian Institute of Child Health, Canadian children are exposed to a toxic soup of chemicals in the air on a daily basis, which may explain the dramatic rise in childhood cancers, asthma, sudden infant death syndrome and behavioural problems.
  • The indoor air of an average home on a cleaning day can be hundreds or even thousands of times more contaminated than the outdoor air in the most polluted cities.
  • Kids spend 90% of their time indoors, where research shows air can contain up to 100 times more pollutants than outdoor air.
  • Children’s small bodies and underdeveloped immune systems make them the most susceptible to indoor air pollution.
  • According to the U.S. National Center for Health Statistics, children breathe 3 times faster than adults, so they tend to absorb 3 times as many pollutants and toxic vapours as adults do.

All of this can translate to immune deficiency, lowered IQ rates, headaches, depression, anxiety, inability to concentrate, attention deficit hyperactivity, shortness of breath, joint pain, memory loss, and even cancer.

indoor air quality and children

Air quality related respiratory illness is on the rise, too.

Another area to pay close attention to is respiratory illness, which -- in addition to the general harmful effects of indoor air pollutants -- has become a specific concern for Canadian families.

Did you know that...

  • Poor indoor air quality can cause or contribute to the development of chronic respiratory diseases such as asthma and hypersensitivity pneumonitis.
  • Researchers from Brock University in St. Catharines, Ontario, tracked dozens of southern Ontario school kids aged 10 and 11, and found that kids who don’t get outside much have higher incidences of upper respiratory tract infections.
  • Asthma has increased by 600% in the past few decades. As many as 1 in 5 children have been diagnosed with asthma and up to 60 percent of children with asthma can go undiagnosed.
  • The Canadian Lung Association has identified common household cleaners and cosmetics as triggers for asthma.

Asthma is now the leading cause of hospital admissions in Canada, and the most frequent trigger for an attack is air pollution.

indoor air quality and respiratory illnesses

While it’s important to know these facts, it’s also important to remember that there’s a lot you can do to keep your home’s air fresh, clean, and pure -- and keep your family safe and healthy in the process. 

Here are some quick tips you can implement right away:

  • Close containers properly. When a container isn’t properly sealed, harmful chemicals can evaporate right out of it, making their way into your family’s breathing air. Make sure to keep all containers (cleaning products, makeup products, etc) closed tightly whenever you’re not using them.
  • Watch your thermostat. The higher the temperature in your house, the more active and harmful chemicals become. The ideal temperature for cleaner indoor air is between 20 and 22 degrees celsius.
  • Avoid chemical laden products whenever possible. Volatile Organic Compounds are emitted from air fresheners, bleach products, household cleaning products, deodorizers, dishwashing detergents, disinfectants, dry cleaned clothing, fabric softeners, laundry detergents, furniture polishes, metal polishes, oven cleaners, glues, paints, solvents, mineral deposit removers, pesticides, garden chemicals, personal care products and much more. While it’s difficult to eliminate these completely, it’s best to avoid them whenever possible.
  • Get your kids outside. Researchers from Brock University in St. Catharines, Ontario, tracked dozens of southern Ontario school kids aged 10 and 11, and found that athletic kids who get outside and engage in rigorous physical activity are generally healthier and get sick less often -- while children who don’t get outside much have higher incidences of upper respiratory tract infections.

Last but not least, the fastest and easiest way to purify your home’s air is to change your furnace’s air filter on a regular basis. 

change your air filter

In addition to protecting your children from the harmful effects of indoor air pollutants, research shows changing your filters regularly has some surprisingly beneficial effects on kids’ behaviour and even their intelligence and school performance:

  • According to The Learning Disabilities Association of America, 12 million children under the age of 18 suffer from learning disabilities and behaviour disorders, such as hyperactivity and attention deficit disorder, which have been linked to indoor air pollution.
  • A New York University research paper found that, when Los Angeles schools installed fresh air filters, children’s math scores went up significantly (as compared to before the new filters were installed).
  • According to a study at the London School of Economics, simply putting kids in an air-filtered room on the day of a test increased their scores significantly!

Unfortunately, many people fail to change their air filters often enough, because they find it confusing, too much of a hassle, or simply just forget to do so.

Even if you rent your home, you should still take charge of your indoor air quality. Your landlord may not know about issues related to air filtration quality, and may not change your filter nearly often enough.

This is exactly why we started PureFilters. Our mission is to help Canadian homeowners keep their air and water fresh, without the stress.

Our easy-to-use website makes it possible to find your correct furnace filter size in a matter of seconds. We offer free shipping options and you can have your order at your doorstep with just a few business days.

You can also get automatic email reminders letting you know when it's time to change your filters. If you've run out of filters, the email reminders even contain a link taking you to your correct filter on our website, based on your last purchase.

We've made it as easy as possible to keep the air in your home fresh and protect your families.