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The Surprising Benefits of HEPA Air Purifiers for Children’s Health

Clean air is important for everyone and becomes increasingly more important as our air pollution rises. Although everyone should be able to enjoy clean air, children need clean air the most.

Children have an increased air intake as their lungs begin to develop as they start to age. This time is crucial to ensure children have clean air so their lungs can develop strongly and healthily.

Although you can keep your air clean by not smoking cigarettes indoors or lighting the wood-burning fireplace constantly, there’s still air pollution in the home and necessary steps that need to be taken to improve indoor air quality.

We ourselves cannot control the ambient outdoor air and its level of pollution. This would require more large-scale regulations on pollution, but we can control our indoor level of air pollution. Cleaning the air with a HEPA air purifier creates the healthiest environment for our children as they begin to age.

Along with an increased air intake, children are at a higher risk of developing respiratory issues like asthma and that risk becomes even higher if they’re exposed to high levels of air pollution.

HEPA air purifiers take in the polluted air in a home, filter out the nasty particles, and push clean air back into the home. Clean air is what children, and everyone in the household, should be breathing, but there’s work that needs to be done to maintain healthy air quality in your home. But no need to worry, it’s as easy as pushing a button!


Top 10 HEPA Air Purifier Benefits for Children

While air purifiers help anyone in the household or school or office that’s within the air purifier’s cleaning range, there are particular benefits that air purifiers provide for children.

Air purifiers can help children as they grow up. Whether they have a difficult time focusing or sleeping or feel overly anxious, being a kid is hard enough already, and air purifiers can lend a helping hand. 

Top 10 HEPA Air Purifier Benefits for Children

Why children are more negatively affected by air pollution

While air pollution negatively affects everyone leading to respiratory issues and possibly negatively affecting mental health, children are the most affected demographic.

Children are affected by air pollution even before they are born while in the womb. Air pollution negatively affects babies in the womb just like smoking cigarettes and being around secondhand smoke.

According to the American Lung Association, air pollution limits lung growth in children. Several studies have found reduced lung growth in children who grew up in highly polluted areas.

The easy answer is that kids and infants have smaller lungs that are still developing and air pollution stifles this growth and development, which leads to respiratory issues.

Polluted air negatively affects everyone’s productivity, but due to children’s increased air intake, their productivity is even worse when struggling with high rates of air pollution. Your children will be more focused and productive if their air is clean.

Children will have a more difficult time focusing both at home and at school if their indoor air quality environment is unhealthy. Clean air allows everyone to focus more and increase their productivity without having to worry about air pollutants clouding their mind. 


Environmental concerns for children

Although air pollution is everywhere, there are some areas where air pollution is more concentrated and children are at higher risk for being harmed by their environmental surroundings.

A common concern parents may have is if they live near a highway or major road. There’s a good chance that your air pollution intake is higher for you and your children if you live in an urban city area.

What health concerns are associated with living near a major road? According to the EPA, there are several health effects that have been associated with living near major roads including asthma, cardiovascular disease, and reduced lung function.

How can proximity to a highway or major road impact a child's health? The EPA lists children specific possible health effects that can be caused by living near a major road or highway including impaired lung development in children, pre-term and low-birthweight infants, childhood leukemia, and premature death.

While moving from your home or apartment might not be an option to escape the increased air pollution caused by a major road or highway, it’s possible to control your indoor air quality. By controlling indoor air quality you can control the indoor environmental concerns for you and your children.

Another issue with older homes or apartments is lead paint and lead dust that is created when the paint starts to chip off the walls. On the other hand, newer purchases can also cause issues with VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) being released in the home. It’s helpful to check if a product is GREENGUARD Certified before buying new furniture or products for yourself or your children to avoid releasing harmful VOCs into your home.

Along with purchasing an air purifier to maintain healthy indoor air quality, it’s also important to check the outdoor air quality in your area. MapMyAir allows you to enter your area or address and get a live reading of the pollen and air quality levels in your area. 

This reading, like this screenshot of Oregon’s unhealthy air quality in January 2022, will help you plan outdoor activities for you and your family. If the air quality is unhealthy that day, you might want to stay inside and plan to go to the park on a healthier day for air quality.

Screenshot of Oransi's MapMyAir website showing unhealthy air quality

 

Air purifiers for asthma and other respiratory issues

According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, asthma is the most common form of respiratory disease, affecting roughly 25 million people in the United States, including 7 million children.

According to the CDC, some of the most common asthma triggers include tobacco smoke, dust mites, outdoor air pollution, indoor pests, pet dander, mold, and certain cleaning products and disinfectants.

Most of these triggers are invisible to the human eye and common in a household, which makes it more difficult to know which are potentially contributing to asthmatic symptoms. It’s important to know what triggers your child’s asthma and be able to control that trigger as well as you can.

The good news is that all of Oransi’s air purifiers help to mitigate all of these common asthma triggers and filter them out of the air that you and your children breathe indoors leading to fewer asthmatic symptoms.

The Oransi mod jr. helps to mitigate the number of allergens, dust, bacteria, pollen, mold spores, pet dander, smoke, airborne viruses, and VOCs in the air. The mod jr. is perfect for an infant or child's bedroom . It has the ability to clean the air of a room up to 878 square feet and is easily moved throughout the house with its light weight.

The Oransi HEPA mod is also an option for bigger rooms as it’s able to cover an area of 1,250 square feet and is just as portable as the mod jr. is just being a bit taller and heavier in comparison.

COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) happens to have a lot of similar triggers to asthma symptoms as well, so purchasing an air purifier to clean your indoor air and maintain a healthy air quality benefits adults with respiratory issues like COPD or asthma as well.


Children have increased air intake

Why do kids have increased air intake? The simple answer as to why children have increased air intake when compared to adults is that their organs are smaller and they’re still in their development phase.

Children take more breaths per minute the younger they are, which means that they intake more air and oxygen compared to adults. How much more increased air intake do children have than adults? Children, depending on their weight, can have as much as 50% more air intake than adults.

Children are also typically closer to the ground than adults are because of their height. Being shorter adds another issue to air and chemical intake as most of the nasty particles stay at ground level.

Children’s organs are developing as they grow up and specifically their lungs are working overtime causing them to have an increased air intake. The combination of children’s increased air intake and lower proximity to the ground causes them to breathe more per minute including the chemicals closer to the ground.


Children have increased chemical intake

How do children have increased chemical intake? Because children have an increased air intake as they take more breaths per minute into their underdeveloped lungs they also have more chemical intake.

If air pollutants like ozone or other chemicals are in the air, and they do come indoors, children are guaranteed to inhale more of the toxic chemicals in your area if the air is not cleaned. No one should be breathing in air pollutants, but it’s most important to clean the air for children who have higher exposure due to their increased air intake.

There are several other chemicals and air pollutants in the ambient outdoor air that easily permeates your indoor air. Ozone is probably what first comes to mind when thinking about outdoor air pollutants and chemicals, but there is much more than that. Besides ozone, what other chemicals are floating through the air?

The CDC and EPA have identified several types of harmful air pollutants that hurt everyone exposed to them, including children, with a wide range of side effects.

Main air pollutants
Other air pollutants

How are chemicals spread throughout the air? Air pollutants are classified as either primary or secondary depending on how they’re spread throughout the air. Primary pollutants are created from a direct action and spread throughout the ambient air like how a car’s gas motor will release carbon monoxide into the air. Secondary pollutants are not emitted directly from one action like how ground-level ozone is created by a chemical reaction between nitrogen oxides and VOCs. 

Primary pollutants can be controlled more easily as they’re more well understood and some of the causes, like car traffic, are directly linked to our actions. Secondary pollutants are not as well understood and we cannot necessarily control the chemical reaction that happens for secondary pollutants to form and cause issues like smog.

All of these air pollutants and chemicals move throughout the air and can easily permeate your indoor air creating an unhealthy environment in your home.


Children are more susceptible to secondhand smoke

Why are children more susceptible to secondhand smoke? Children are at a higher risk around secondhand smoke because of their increased air intake. Secondhand smoke harms both adults and children.

Adults who are exposed to secondhand smoke have an increased risk of developing heart disease as breathing secondhand smoke has an immediate harmful effect on the heart and blood vessels. They also have an increased risk of lung cancer and stroke even if they do not smoke themselves.

Children are just as affected by secondhand smoke as adults are but in different ways. Exposure to secondhand smoke during pregnancy can cause newborns to be underweight leading to an increased risk of health complications.

Infants and young children exposed to secondhand smoke can experience health problems like ear infections, respiratory issues, and increased and more severe asthma attacks. Infants exposed to secondhand smoke are also at higher risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.

How can air purifiers help with secondhand smoke for children? Air purifiers with a real HEPA filter and carbon activated filter, like Oransi’s mod HEPA air purifier, help to clean your indoor air of smoke. Since the air purifier is cleaning the air of smoke it’s less likely for children, or anyone in the house, to inhale secondhand smoke.

Air purifiers will help clean your home of smoke in the air whether you’re worried about wildfire smoke in your area or someone in your household or in your apartment complex smoking indoors.


The dangers of vaping and e-cigarettes

E-cigarettes and vaping are a relatively new trend when compared to regular cigarettes and they are products that are more popular among teens and young adults especially with the various flavors marketed to a younger demographic. E-cigarettes are electronic devices that heat a liquid that usually contains nicotine, flavoring, and other chemicals, which produces an aerosol or small particles into the air.

The liquid itself has poisoned children and adults after swallowing, breathing, or absorbing the liquid through their skin or eyes resulting in an abundance of calls to poison control. Directly inhaling these small particles and VOCs from e-cigarettes is typically referred to as vaping and can have harmful side effects just like regular cigarettes.

Most e-cigarettes contain substances like nicotine, which is highly addictive and harmful. Nicotine is even more dangerous to teens and young adults as it can harm brain development that happens as everyone ages and develops into their mid 20s. Using e-cigarettes or other nicotine products can harm parts of the brain that control attention, learning, mood, and impulse control.

Lungs are still developing until your mid 20s as well and if you add e-cigarettes and nicotine into the mix the development, and further function of your lungs, will be diminished. Since e-cigarettes are a relatively new product being invented in 2003, researchers are still trying to determine possible long-term effects of vaping.

Although e-cigarettes do not emit secondhand smoke like regular cigarettes do, the “vapor” aerosol emitted into the air from smoking them can be just as harmful. Just like cigarettes and secondhand smoke, air purifiers can help clean the air of any harmful VOCs released into the air created by an e-cigarette.


Air purifiers help children with seasonal allergies 

How do good air purifiers help kids with allergies? Air purifiers can help filter out any type of airborne allergens your child may be allergic to while indoors.

Air purifiers help everyone with seasonal allergies including pollen in the spring and fall and build-up of dust indoors in the winter. They also help mitigate symptoms that are triggered by year-round allergies like pet dander, dust mites, insects, and mold.

Possible allergy triggers and if air purifiers help or not

Allergy symptoms include itchy or runny nose, sneezing, headache, cough, sinus congestion, itchy throat, and watery eyes. Sometimes it’s difficult to differentiate between when our allergies are acting up and when we’re sick with a cold, but the good news is that air purifiers help with both allergies and illness.

Children are typically outside more than adults are, meaning that they’re more exposed to pollen and ambient air pollution. This means children need a clean indoor air environment even more than adults since their exposure to outdoor allergens and pollution is higher.

Allergic reactions and symptoms are getting worse as air pollution gets worse and climate change factors into our everyday lives, but air purifiers can help mitigate these negative effects.


Air purifiers help calm anxieties 

Some children have to cope with a particular set of anxieties as they’re growing up. They might experience separation anxiety when leaving their parents and a comfortable environment. They are meeting new people all the time, which might lead to social anxiety. They might have specific phobias or they might have general anxiety where they’re constantly afraid something bad is going to happen.

It’s difficult to comfort a child who experiences any type of these anxieties, but there are several suggestions on how to help your child cope with their anxieties. The overall goal is to help your child manage their anxieties.

There are several healthy ways to manage your anxiety and help your child cope with their anxiety as well, but one you might not have thought of before is adding an air purifier to your household.

Although an air purifier won’t solve all of your problems, it’s a way to maintain a healthy physical environment. Air pollution is a contributing factor to increased anxiety and stress and air purifiers clean your indoor air of various pollutants. Air pollution is yet another stressor in life that contributes to poor mental health, but thankfully this stressor has an easy solution in an air purifier.


How to improve indoor air quality 

There are several ways to improve and increase the air quality in your home. There are simple and more involved long-term ways to start improving your home or school or office’s indoor air quality.

It’s important to pay attention to the cleaning products you use and particular aerosol spray cleaners. A lot of them have harmful chemicals and when used frequently can emit toxic chemicals or fumes.

Scented candles and indoor fireplaces are also a source of VOCs that can be released into your indoor air and cause problems with air quality. Cooking smoke can also cause problems even if you don’t smoke or vape indoors. Turning on an exhaust fan while cooking will help you avoid issues with smoke from cooking.

Replace the filter in your furnace regularly. The filter in your furnace isn’t meant to purify the air you breathe, but it does help filter dust, which means you need to replace the filter on a regular basis, typically 3-6 months, since the dust builds up.

Cleaning also helps keep your indoor air quality healthy. Vacuuming and dusting on a regular schedule is a big help in keeping allergy symptoms down and air quality up. Air purifiers can help to clean airborne dust, but it’s crucial to also clean the dust that sticks to surfaces throughout the house or school or office.

There are also more involved ways to improve the air quality in your home. These require updates and new appliances, but they’re all worth it to help to improve your indoor air quality for both you and your family.

Upgrading the ventilation in your house and adding a whole house fan will help to increase air flow and displace the stale air around your house. If you or your children have severe dust allergies it’s worth considering replacing the carpeted areas in your home with hardwood floors. Any type of hardwood floor like vinyl will be much easier to clean than carpeted floors and less dust will hide on this surface.

A humidifier dehumidifier combination would also be a great investment in your home. Having too much moisture in the air is how mold can begin to grow and having too little moisture leads to dry air. A humidifier dehumidifier combo will help you control the level of moisture in your home and lead to the healthiest results.

Air purifiers in your home will also help to keep a healthy indoor air quality level, but it’s important to pay attention to what kind of air purifier you’re purchasing to make sure you find the best product for your needs.


Why children need a HEPA air purifier 

One of the most important things to look for in an effective air purifier for children is an air purifier with a real HEPA filter. Why is a HEPA air purifier so much better for children? A real HEPA air purifier is what everyone should be looking for in an air purifier.

What are the benefits of a HEPA air purifier? Real HEPA air purifiers are the most effective way of removing harmful airborne particles and don’t emit any chemicals or ozone into the air as other products can.

Oransi’s real HEPA air purifiers, like the mod, are tested to remove 99.4% at 0.02 microns (20 nanometers) and 0.10 microns. For reference, COVID is around 0.125 microns and the mod’s real HEPA removal rate at this size of micron is 99.6% with each air pass.

It’s important to get the numbers with any air purifier that claims to have a HEPA filter to make sure that they have been tested to remove particles smaller than your main concern.

Real HEPA filters are typically paired with an activated carbon filter that provides even more filtration of smoke and other VOCs making it an even more effective purchase.

Most air purifiers, including those with real HEPA and carbon activated filters, emit white noise. Along with all of the other benefits of an air purifier, most people enjoy white noise and it can help them sleep. Air purifiers will help your children breathe easier and mitigate allergy symptoms that would keep them awake at night, and the white noise will help soothe them to sleep.


What to look for in an effective air purifier for children

Why should you do your research before selecting a HEPA air purifier for children? It’s important to make sure that you find a safe and effective air purifier for children that will target your particular concerns whether they’re allergies or smoke or mold or dust. This research at the beginning will ensure that your air purifier purchase will actually work for you and your family.

Knowing the size of the particles an air purifier has been tested to remove is an important factor to keep in mind when searching for an effective air purifier. It’s also important to consider the size of the area where you need an air purifier. Different air purifiers can clean different square footage and knowing what you need in terms of coverage is crucial for you to be able to have clean air in your home.

Here’s a quick basic checklist you can use to guide your research to make sure you make the best air purifier purchase for you.

Do's and Don'ts of choosing an air purifier
Do's and Don'ts of choosing an air purifier

How can the wrong air purifier hurt children's health? Ozone generators and air ionizers end up hurting everyone, most of all children, because they don’t actually filter out VOCs and introduce harmful ozone into your home.

Ozone generators do not effectively filter out airborne virus particles, bacteria, mold, or other pollutants. The introduction of more ozone into your indoor living area also causes potential health risks that make breathing more difficult instead of easier.

Some ozone generators are manufactured with an ion generator or air ionizer, but they’re also harmful. Air ionizers are also bad for health because they don’t effectively remove VOCs from the air.

Why are air ionizers bad for a child's health? Air ionizers generate ozone, which might help in mitigating the spread of airborne viruses, but causes more problems than benefits. Ozone is a harmful lung irritant that can cause throat irritation, chest pain, coughing, shortness of breath, and can worsen asthma.

Air ionizers produce ozone and don’t effectively help to mitigate asthma and allergy triggers like dust and VOCs. It’s best to stick with real HEPA and carbon activated filters in an air purifier that doesn’t generate ozone or claim to work through ionized air.

There are also products where you can add scented air fresheners or essential oils into the air purifier to be spread throughout the house, but this, again, prompts issues with the basic function of an air purifier.

Some products introduce countless smart tech additions to air purifiers that increase the price without adding to the air filtration technology. Although they might be nice to have and essential to you in particular, it’s important to make sure that the air purifier you’re purchasing can successfully meet a purifier’s basic function.

An air purifier at its core is supposed to take in polluted air, filter out all of the nasty particles, and push out clean air. Anything beyond that basic function won’t help your children breathe easier. Feel free to email our US-based team at hello@oransi.com. They are available to answer any of your questions and help you make the best educated decision for you and your family.