Kids inhale 50% more air per pound compared to adults. Because of this, the EPA says kids are more vulnerable to polluted air. It's important to make sure your home's indoor air is healthy. 

Kids and Healthy Air and Avoiding The Big Four:

  • VOCs
  • Ozone
  • Particulate Matter
  • Humidity

Truthfully, the need for Healthy Air starts in the womb as kids rely on their mothers to supply them with oxygen. After birth, a newborn baby breathing steadily takes a breath about 40 times per minute compared to adults who inhale 12-20 times per minute.

From there, the developmental effects of air pollution can last into adulthood, leading to asthma, allergies, and respiratory distress.

Protect your entire family from

The Big Four.

1. VOCs

The American Lung Association defines Volatile Organic Compounds as “gases that are emitted into the air from products or processes.”

This can refer to fumes or vapors from scented candles, cleaning supplies, carpeting, pesticides, and even certain furniture that off-gases from stains, varnishes, or adhesives. According to the Minnesota State Department of Health, short-term exposure to VOCs can result in respiratory tract irritation, headaches, and dizziness.

With kids, try using all-natural, organic products whenever possible. If possible, choose hardwood floors over carpeting to reduce the amount of fumes off-gassing from carpet glue.

2. Particulate Matter

Particulate matter is made up of numerous microscopic specks floating through your air. It can be made up of dust, mold spores, allergens, and other irritants that can affect your kid’s respiratory system.

Without sufficient ventilation or air purification, particulate matter can linger. Ventilation pumps the good air in and the bad air out while your air purifier filters any additional irritants out of the air you breathe.

Check to make sure your air ducts are clean so that your ventilation system is working efficiently, and always remember to change your air filter on time.

3. Ozone

While outdoor air pollution continues to poke holes in the Ozone Layer, some companies are creating extra ozone through an air purification process that “ionizes” the air.

Ozone is a VOC and can be dangerous for you or your family. In fact, California has even banned air purifiers that generate ozone!

Adding a room air purifier or humidifier to your kid’s nursery or bedroom can be very beneficial for their growing lungs. That said, when searching for room air purifiers, look for ones that specifically don’t produce ozone. If it mentions “ionization” anywhere on the package, it likely produces ozone.

4. Humidity

If your humidity is too high, it can carry indoor air irritants that can harm your family’s health and even lead to pests and mold growth! If your humidity is too low, viruses like influenza tend to thrive.

It’s important to strike a balance between dry air and moisture at home. Aim to keep your home’s humidity between 40% and 60% to help provide you and your family with a comfortable and healthy living space.

Kid's airways are lined with a thin layer of fluid, so try to keep your humidity in that proper 40-60% range. 

Dos & Don'ts


encourage outdoor play

With indoor air being up to 5x more polluted than outdoor air, encouraging your kids to take up outdoor hobbies could prove to be beneficial for their growth. Not to mention, outdoor play is great for their social and physical development. Watch for any potential allergies in kids, which may need to be addressed by your pediatrician.


don’t neglect symptoms

If you notice your kid consistently wheezing, have them checked by their pediatrician for asthma or allergies. Signs of allergies in babies and older kids include persistent congestion and cold or flu symptoms, which could be remedied naturally with Healthy Air.


mind the humidity

Pediatricians widely agree that proper humidity can help prevent the spread of germs and soothe symptoms made worse by dry air. Clean your humidifier often, or opt for a whole-home humidification system for your entire family’s benefit. If you notice the humidity in your home rising above 60%, switch to a dehumidifier to mitigate any potential risks.


use generic air filters

Generic air filters won’t always fit properly, meaning your healthy home’s central air system isn’t living up to expectations. Always look for the manufacturer's products for optimum efficiency. For example, genuine AprilAire filters offer a Pure Fit Promise and can be tailored to your family’s needs.


use all-natural products

Many everyday products have harmful chemicals called VOCs that could have an effect on your kid's health. For example, that “fresh laundry scent” is the result of the chemicals used to help it smell that way. The same is true for many baby products. Opt for all-natural, organic products free of VOCs.


use room air purifiers that

produce ozone

When choosing a room air purifier for your kid’s nursery or bedroom, strongly consider a unit like one from AprilAire that doesn’t produce ozone to protect them from this gaseous substance.

The EPA estimates that the level of indoor air pollution may be two to five times higher than the pollution level outdoors, and many children spend more than 90% of their time indoors.”


It’s time to care about kids and Healthy Air. Make sure you’re doing everything you can to provide a safe and Healthy Home for you and your little ones. And, for those of you with elderly family members in the home, remember: the same ailments caused by air pollution among kids can have the same effects on grandma and grandpa as well. Find a certified AprilAire Healthy Air Professional near you to assist with your Healthy Air needs.

Take the First Step