We work hard to make sure our children stay safe. We make sure they eat healthy foods, see the pediatrician regularly, buckle up and wear bike helmets. And yet, there is one thing that even the most conscientious parents often overlook: Air quality
What Effect Does Air Pollution Have on Kids?
As children’s minds and bodies develop, they can be extra sensitive to air quality. There are certain allergens and pollutants that are particularly harmful including:
- Tobacco smoke
- Formaldehyde gas in furniture
How Do Air Purifiers Clean the Air?
From our homes to our schools, we need to ensure that the air our children are breathing is clean. An air purifier is an excellent way to remove dangerous pollutants from the air. But, all purifiers are not created the same. In fact, some purifiers may even make the air less safe to breathe.
Understanding the technology behind each type of purifier is the first step to choosing the right one for your family.
Let’s take a look at some of the most common types of purifiers.
Ozone purifiers take in oxygen (O2) from the air and give it a strong electrical charge which allows the oxygen molecules to rearrange themselves and form O3, also known as ozone.
The ozone is then released into the air where it collides with pollutants like mold and smoke and changes their chemical composition. But, while it can help destroy pollutants in the air, the extra oxygen molecule can also interact with substances inside your child’s body, causing chest pain, coughing, shortness of breath, and throat irritation.
Purifiers that emit any amount of ozone should never be used in a home with children.
Ionizers work by creating ions – positively or negatively charged molecules. Air goes into the purifier where it passes through an electric field that either adds or takes away an electron from the particles passing through. The problem is, not only do ionizers not work very well outside of very small spaces, they also produce small amounts of ozone.
UV purifiers use short wave ultraviolet light (UV-C) to destroy airborne pollutants by breaking down their DNA or RNA. Because it takes air less than a second to filter air through purifiers, most contaminants are not able to be destroyed.
UV purifiers also emit small amounts of ozone.
Photocatalytic Oxidation (PCO)
Photocatalytic oxidation purification is a process in which pollutants undergo a chemical reaction that transforms them into non-toxic substances.
There are major drawbacks to PCO, the most concerning of which is the fact that the pollutants produced by photocatalytic air purifiers may pose a greater risk to your child’s health than the ones they are designed to remove. One of these pollutants is ozone.
Activated charcoal filters
Activated charcoal filters use extremely hot charcoal to trap pollutants. When the temperature of the charcoal is raised, the elements and compounds that were bound with the carbon atoms are removed and all the binding sites for carbon become “free” for binding, which means that odors and volatile organic compounds get removed from circulation.
Activated charcoal filters work great for gases and odors, but do nothing to eliminate harmful particulate matter.
A HEPA filter is made of interlaced fiberglass or plastic fibers that are twisted into a maze designed to remove particles from the air circulating in your home.
The particles are trapped in different ways according to their size.
Particles larger than 1 micron are heavy enough that the airflow pushes them into the fibers of the filter where they get stuck.
Particles that are .3 to 1 micron can fit in between the gaps in the filter. But, because they are too heavy and slow to follow the airflow around the HEPA filter, they get stuck in the fibers.
Particles that are smaller than .3 microns are small and light enough that they bounce off larger particles in the air in random patterns, causing them to get caught in the HEPA fibers.
While all True HEPA filters are good at removing pollutants, there are different options available according to the specific needs of your home.
What are the Best Aeris Air Purifiers for Kids?
True HEPA filters are the safest, most effective way to remove harmful pollutants from your children’s air. For even more protection, look for purifiers that also use an activated carbon filter to remove gases and odors.
Here are some of our favorite options:
aair lite: The Best Small Room Air Purifier for Kids’ Rooms and Nurseries
For nurseries and bedrooms under 700 square feet, we recommend the aair lite.
The aair lite is the most portable purifier available, making it ideal to transfer between rooms when a child outgrows their nursery and moves into a bigger room.
The aair lite uses HEPA H13 Filter to Filter 99.95% of ultra-fine particles at 0.1 microns so that pollutants like pollen, dust, smoke particles, pet dander, and more will be removed from your children’s room in minutes.
aair 3-in-1 Pro: The Best Air Purifier Large Play Rooms and Living Spaces
The aair 3-in-1 Pro is the top choice for large rooms and living spaces. Families who may be considering expanding or want to cover a larger area of space will find the aair 3-in-1 Pro to be the perfect size. The aair 3-in-1 Pro uses a HEPA 13 filter embedded with 2 lbs of activated carbon to filter out 99.95% of ultra-fine particles at 0.1 microns. It is most effective for rooms up to 1500 sq ft in size.
aair Medical Pro: The Best Air Purifier for Pediatrician Offices and High-Risk Children
Children with special medical needs, pre existing respiratory issues, or other sensitivities to airborne pollutants require even further protection. The aair Medical Pro is made to remove even the smallest pollutants with the most effectiveness. It uses an HEPA H14 Filter to Captures 99.995% of pollutants at 0.1 microns. It works best for rooms up to 1080 sq ft.