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Published on Aug 15, 2013
Child care facilities can easily develop problems with indoor air quality because there are a many people in a relatively small space, there may not be the funds to properly maintain the building and quite often people may not understand its importance. Poor indoor air quality can increase absenteeism, the spread of communicable diseases, trigger asthma and other respiratory issues, and cause uncomfortable conditions for both children and adults.
Another important consideration to keep in mind is that a child's lungs are still developing and are more susceptible to infections and any pollution and contaminants they may breathe. In fact, children breathe up to 4 times as much per pound of body weight as do adults.
There are many types of pollutants and contaminants that can cause issues in a child care facility. They may include: particulates, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, ozone, nitrogen dioxide, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) such as formaldehyde, lead, asbestos, pesticides, mold, bacteria, environmental tobacco smoke, radon and allergens from plants, pets, insects and rodents.
Even things such as new furnishing, flooring and paint can release chemicals into the air that can cause issues. Any water or moisture damage in a child care facility should be immediately addressed as mold can begin to grow in as short as 24 to 48 hours.
It's important that parents, teachers and faculty of child care facilities be aware of all of these issues. It is also important that the child care facility has a properly operating heating and cooling system that is providing appropriate ventilation and that the air filters are regularly monitored and changed.
Also, because young children with their hand to mouth actions make them susceptible to getting and sharing illnesses, surfaces be regularly cleaned and sanitized with an appropriate disinfectant.
These are just a few things to know about indoor air quality issues in child care facilities, to learn more about this or other health and safety, occupational or indoor air quality issues, please visit the websites shown on the screen.