Stay Inside, Wheeze All Day

Air at home can be more harmful to asthmatic kids than outdoor air

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Need another reason to kick your kids off the couch and into the outdoors? A study by Johns Hopkins researchers published last month suggests that the air inside many homes may be more harmful to asthmatic young’uns than the air outside.

Outside air in urban areas, laced with thick pollen and harmful pollutants, has always been a top factor in triggering asthma attacks. The solution? Many parents keep their children inside, “safe” from asthma-inducing danger. But indoor air can be stifling too, with poor ventilation and small spaces full of dust, mold, and synthetic air fresheners.

According to the Baltimore Sun, “For every 10-microgram-per-cubic-meter increase in finer air particles indoors, there was a 7 percent increase in wheezing severe enough to limit speech, and a 4 percent increase in the number of days rescue medication was needed.” Basically, if you took particles the weight of a small grain of sand and diffused them among 10 square feet of your living room, your kid is more likely to have a coughing bout that may require an inhaler.

With all these potential dangers lurking indoors, what is a concerned parent to do? Do your kids’ lungs–and their budding sense of adventure–a favor and head to the nearest mountains, avoiding pollen-rich seasons like spring and fall. Check out tips from BACKPACKER editors about taking your kids backpacking and then head outside to breathe in an actual fresh mountain morning (hint: it’s nothing like the scented plug-in and won’t make your kids wheeze).

–Morgan Keys

Indoor air can be risk for kids with asthma (Baltimore Sun)

Image credit: M^3

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