Disclaimer: The content below is written to share our experience and should not be regarded as medical advice. Please consult your Doctor should you have any questions.
Keeping our newborn babies health in the best condition possible is a priority for new parents, and with babies breathing in up to nearly twice the amount adults do per hour, indoor air quality should be something we are worried about.
Air purifiers are very safe to have around newborns and can stop them from breathing in nasty particles in the air, the only air purifier which is not safe for babies are the ones that have ozone emissions, such as UV-C light filters, ozone generators and ionizers.
So as you can figure out whether or not an air purifier is right for your newborn, we have composed a short guide below that will compare the advantages and dangers of using one of these devices so as you can make an informed decision.
Among the different type of air purifiers on the market, the air purifier to avoid at all costs is an ozone generator as these emit ozone gas when cleaning, which has a variety of negative side effects for not just babies, but even adults.
Having ozone emission around infants is very unsafe, and can give allergy symptoms, chest pain and other health risks if the air pollutant is inhaled, which is likely in a newborn, as they take more breaths than us adults.
The ways these unsafe air purifier devices work is by taking oxygen in the air and converting it into three-part molecule all made up of oxygen particles. When this three-part oxygen molecule is released back into the air it attaches itself to chemicals or bad particles and essentially destroys them.
Not only should you avoid using ozone unsafe purifiers around your baby, but you should also take precaution when using air purifier devices such as ionizers and UV-C lights, are these are said to have a small byproduct of ozone too.
Some side effects you and your newborn can experience from an ozone generator are -
As a newborn, you are more susceptible to having all the negative side effects listed above as their body and the immune system has not fully developed yet, making the newborn more susceptible to getting a respiratory infection.
Some ionic air purifiers might be said to emit a low level of ozone which can be considered safe to inhale, but we recommend avoiding these types of filters altogether if the main use is for it to be safe for a newborn.
Now we know which air purifiers to avoid using around your baby, let's get into which air purifiers are safe to use and leave around your newborn.
There are two main types of the safest air purifiers out there, true HEPA air purifiers and carbon air filters, both do not emit ozone as a byproduct of their cleaning and have a large number of benefits.
We will go into more detail about both below.
True HEPA filters can catch up to 99.97% of irritating particles in the air up to 0.3 microns in size, allowing them to filter and trap nasty particles from the air that could be causing disturbance to your baby.
HEPA true filters and normal HEPA filters act the same, except the first is said to be more superior and can catch smaller particles size than the other can, filtering out more harmful pollutants that your baby could be breathing in.
When a HEPA air purifier sucks airborne pollutants in, it traps them in their net, for very small particle size, they will follow a zig-zag pattern when they enter the purifier so as it can increase their chances of being caught.
HEPA True filters alone might catch larger particles, but are not efficient in removing dangerous airborne chemicals and gases from the air, for this you will need a carbon filter, which we will get on to next.
Carbon filters are safe to use around babies as they also do not give off airborne pollutants called ozone. These filters work by using a piece of charcoal which has a porous sponge, when indoor pollutants are sucked into this through the purifier, it adsorbs them and traps them, removing odour and the chance of you breathing in these organic chemicals around your home.
It must be noted however that carbon filters will not remove residual particles in the air as it only filters out gases, for this you would need a HEPA true filter, which is why you often find that both types are used together to clean the whole air space inside of a room efficiently.
Filter type purifiers such as HEPA are the safest for your baby, but what can they remove from the air to improve its quality?
Well, mechanical filter types like HEPA can remove all kinds of irritating particles such as dust particles and chemical vapours from the air, with the air being up to five times more polluted than the outside, this is important for your newborn.
We have listed a few more types of airborne contaminants your filter air purifiers can remove below.
Using a charcoal air filter and HEPA filter in combination can have a huge amount of benefits for your baby and remove the harmful effects of airborne contaminants when they inhale the air inside.
From helping allergy symptoms to even increased life expectancy, the health benefits of these filter-based products can be vast.
You can also improve the air quality of your home for your baby nurseries by implementing a few tips below.
Can I leave an air purifier on all night in my babies room?
Yes, you can leave an air purifier on all night in your babies room, just make sure to put in a low setting and keep it a safe distance from your baby while they are sleeping. Air purifiers when left on for a longer amount of time can be more effective than just leaving them on for a few hours.
Why are the lungs of newborns so sensitive to the majority of pollutants?
When a baby is still young, their immune system and organs still have not fully developed, this makes them unable to fight properly against bad particulates in the air and harmful chemicals and can trigger asthma attacks or respiratory issues in the future.
Do air purifiers have benefits for babies?
Yes, air purifiers have a huge range of benefits for babies as they clean all the harmful particles and bad odour particles that your baby could be inhaling from the air. This can improve their health and stop them from getting breathing health issues in the future as an adult.
Should I get a humidifier for babies?
If your baby has dry skin or cold-related allergies then a humidifier can add moisture to the air to make it more comfortable for them, as a higher level of humidity will mean more moisture.
Using a humidifier and air purifier in conjunction with your newborn can be very beneficial.
Can I use aerosol sprays around my baby?
Aerosols are a VOC and can be dangerous for your newborn if they are used in a place with little ventilation as the particulates from the chemical can build up in the air.
How do I tell if my newborn has allergies?
If your baby is showing allergy symptoms such as wheezing, coughing or red itchy eyes then this could indicate that they have allergy issues, an air purifier might be able to help ease these symptoms by removing triggers in the air.
How much do air purifiers for baby cost?
A high-quality air purifier for your baby could cost up to £100 or more depending on the model you buy and the filter it comes with.
To conclude our articles, air purifiers that emit ozone gases are not safe to use around your newborn or infant and even adults, as the gas that they emit is very toxic and can have negative effects on your babies lung capacity and breathing.
Safe air purifiers you can use to help your baby breathe clean air are ones made from a HEPA filter and carbon filter, as these mechanical filtration systems do not have any dangerous byproduct of ozone as they clean.
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