The first few months after childbirth is the time when a newborn child is the most vulnerable to all kinds of negative outside influences. Statistics show that the majority of infant deaths occur within the first year after birth. The impact of environmental exposure is, perhaps, one of the most underestimated by parents and communities at large. Polluted air, in particular, has the possibility of stilting growth, affecting the development and functioning of air circulation systems, and stimulating the development of chronic diseases such as asthma (WHO, 2014). The purpose of this pamphlet is to educate parents on dangers of air pollution and suggest preventive strategies to keep their children safe.
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What Causes Air Pollution?
- Factories, production facilities, coal-based electric plants
- Exhaust from cars, trucks, and other vehicles
- Smoke from burning various materials and chemical components
- Various goods and services (Gordon et al., 2014).
What Diseases Can Air Pollution Cause?
- Lung cancer
- Acute Lower Respiratory Infections
- Various heart diseases (COPD, Ischemic heart disease, stroke) (Gordon et al., 2014).
Preventive Measures against Air Pollution
- Watch the smog reports – large cities are prone to be overwhelmed with smog. Keeping indoors and keeping the windows closed during smog hours will keep the child safe (“Air pollution in the world,” n.d.).
- Minimize trips to the city. Cities have a higher concentration of polluted air when compared to suburbs. Unless there is an emergency, the child should be kept away from the city (Lelieveld, Evans, Giannadaki, & Pozzer, 2015).
- Use air masks – although they will not stop polluted air from getting into the child’s lungs, they will prevent small particles and dust from entering the cavities.
- Use air purifiers – installing these mechanisms over your ventilation shafts would improve the health of your children.
- Use indoor plants – plants can be used as natural air purifiers, as they absorb CO2 and provide oxygen. Good examples of plants to be kept indoors are Aloe Vera, Areca Palm, Azalea, and Tulsi (Lelieveld et al., 2015).
After having developed my pamphlet, I approached a family in the park in order to share it with them and answer any questions they had. It was a middle-class white family of three, with a mother, a father, and a single infant child. Both parents have recently graduated from college.
Both parents were receptive to the information I provided to them and seemed genuinely interested in what I had to say. Both have understood the facts and methods I have provided to them. However, it seemed that they already knew most of the information I was going to tell them, except for accurate numbers and estimations.
The educational part of the assignment went well, as the conversation was going constructively, and the parents told me they would use some of the material I offered them, namely the smog check site found in the additional materials section. Still, there are some issues with my pamphlet that can be improved upon. Namely, it could provide facts that the general populace does not know about. In addition, the usefulness and novelty of such a small pamphlet to well-educated white families are lessened, as they are already aware of the dangers of pollution. Perhaps, this information would have been more useful to poor and uneducated populations, who are completely unaware of the dangers of air pollution to their children. Impoverished black communities would be more appropriate for such an intervention.
Air pollution in the world. (n.d.). Web.
Gordon, B., Bruce, N. G., Grigg, J., Hibbert, P. L., Kurmi, O. P., … Martin, W. J. (2014). Respiratory risks from household air pollution in low and middle income countries. The Lancet, 2(10), 823-860.
Lelieveld, J., Evans, J. S., Giannadaki, D., & Pozzer, A. (2015). The contribution of outdoor air pollution sources to premature mortality on a global scale. Nature, 525, 367-371.
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WHO. (2014). “Seven million premature deaths annually linked to air pollution. Web.