Air Pollution in Delhi-NCR has left parents of the region a worried lot. Pollution has a severe health impact and along with the elderly, children are at added risk. While in some areas schools have been closed, in others like Noida, children still have to attend physical classes. But even in places where schools are closed, children are still going for tuitions, or going out to play. As Anjali Anand, a resident of Noida Extension, shares, “How long can you force kids to stay cooped up inside their homes? They get irritable and insist on going out to meet their friends, even if it’s within the apartment complex.” As the situation remains dire, Dr Saurabh Khanna, Lead Consultant, Neonatology and Pediatrics, CK Birla Hospital in Gurgaon, shares with Zee News Digital the safety precautions kids need to take in these difficult times.
Delhi-NCR Air Pollution: A Grim Picture
According to the data provided by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) website, AQI levels in Delhi on Tuesday (November 7) remained in the severe category – Anand Vihar recorded 432, RK Puram measured 437, Punjabi Bagh showed 439, and New Moti Bagh registered a reading of 410. In Noida, a reading at Sector 62 at 6 am showed an AQI of 384 (very poor) while in Gurugram, a reading at Sector 51 at 6 am showed an AQI of 399 (very poor). With Delhi-NCR’s air pollution levels remaining hazardous, children are particularly at health risk. In Gurugram, classes from nursery to class five will remain suspended till further orders while in Delhi, schools have been directed to suspend physical classes, except for classes 10 and 12, until November 10. In Noida, however, despite parents’ requests, physical classes have not been suspended.
5 Ways To Protect Kids From Air Pollution
Dr Saurabh Khanna suggests the following steps that parents and children should take to keep the latter same:
Wear Masks: Looking at the current pollution level in Delhi & NCR, if children have to go out for essential work like attending tuition then kids must wear N95 masks. These masks are recommended for all age groups beyond the age of 2 years of age.
Healthy Diet: The role of nutrition can’t be dismissed. If a child is going out, they should not leave with an empty stomach. They should be having healthy food. Healthy food habits include the intake of vitamins, essential minerals and antioxidants which are provided by vegetables and seasonal fruits.
Restrict Outdoor Activities: While it might be difficult to convince kids, restrict outdoor activities. Ideally, children should be encouraged to play indoors and not in playgrounds.
Use Air Purifier: Indoor air pollutants are dangerous, so when you are indoors, use air purifiers.
Timing Is Everything: If kids insist on going out for a walk or some physical activity, ensure it’s noon time and not early morning or late evening as at these times, pollution is at its worst.
What Is A Healthy AQI
An AQI from 0 to 100 is considered good, while from 100 to 200 it is moderate, from 200 to 300 it is poor, and from 300 to 400 it is said to be very poor and from 400 to 500 or above it is considered as severe, which affects healthy people and seriously impacts those with existing diseases.