Air pollution can cause coughing, burning eyes, and tightness in the chest. For children, problems are likely to be worse if they have asthma.
Air pollution is made up of gases, droplets and particles that reduce the quality of the air. Both the city and the country can have air pollution.
Some causes of air pollution are cars, buses, airplanes, factories, mines, power plants, construction, dust and smoke. In cities, air pollution increases when the air is still, the sun is bright, and the temperature is warm.
When local health agencies issue air pollution or smog alerts, keep your child indoors. If you must take your baby out on these days, do so early in the morning or after sunset.
If you know you live close to a source of air pollution or if your baby has a heart or lung problem (including asthma), ask your child’s health care provider how to protect him from air pollution.
Everything you buy has an effect on the environment. When you buy products that use less energy and last longer than others, you pollute the air less.
Local newspapers and TV news programs usually provide information about air quality.
Scientists are debating whether BPA (bisphenol A) and phthalates pose a risk to children's health. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has expressed concerns about chemicals used in plastics. BPA is used to make plastics clear, strong and hard to break. Some baby bottles, dishes and toys contain this chemical. Some research has found that bisphenol A can affect the brain, behavior and prostate gland in infants and children.
If you're concerned, buy BPA-free plastic baby products. You can also use baby bottles made of glass, polypropylene or polyethylene. If you use plastics, avoid plastics numbered 3 or 7 (look for the number in a triangle typically found on the bottom of containers). Use plastics numbered 1, 2 and 4. If plastic baby bottles and infant cups contain BPA, discard them if they have scratches. Don't put boiling or very hot liquids, such as formula, into plastic bottles or containers that contain BPA.