Children are facing specific risks from air pollution because:
- They breathe more rapidly than adults and so absorb more pollutants.
- They are more active and therefore breathe in more air pollution.
- Air pollution harms them during the development stage of their life, causing lifelong health problems.
- Their brains are still developing, and neurotoxic compounds in air pollution can affect children’s cognitive development
- Their bodies are less able to metabolize, detoxify and excrete the toxicants contained in air pollution
- Baby born to women who were exposed to air pollution during their pregnancy is more likely to be premature and low birthweight.
Protect children’s health by reducing air pollution and less exposure to air pollutants:
- Monitor air pollution levels daily and know how to take protective measures
- Better stay indoors when the air is heavily polluted
- Choose a cleaner commute – avoid busy roads and take quieter streets with less traffic
- Stop using diesel or petrol car and switch to it with
- Less demand on car ride – use public transportation, bike or walk whenever possible
- Conserve energy – at home, at work, everywhere
- Recycling and Reusing when possible instead of waste disposal
- Raise awareness among your community about the health impacts of air pollution
- Call for policy change on clean air issue for children’s health protection
- Support tree planting campaign
- Introduce low-emission zone near the school area
Source/ World Health Organization
Photo/ Douglas Kong Hing-kit