When you are getting ready to send your kids back to their childcare or daycare facility after returning back to work for the first time in the last couple months due to the global Coronavirus pandemic, many fears might come into your mind, especially when it comes to safety and hazards in the environment. Airborne pathogens can easily become spread into the air of an environment and have a far reach of contagion among those individuals in the indoor space, thus the concern from parents about placing their little kids back in daycare facilities as they go back to work.
Childcare facilities can house a number of children from anywhere to 5 to 20 kids in most cases, as well as teachers within the confined environment. Another challenge is that young children are constantly on the move touching everything they can get their hands on, which may be an issue when it comes to trying to protect them from pathogens in the indoor environment. However, air quality and air filtration will be two of the most important components to childcare settings as they begin to reopen, but when it comes to selecting the best air purification device the research you do will be important in mitigating a variety of airborne contaminants including airborne pathogens.
In this article we are going to learn more about the potential airborne hazards present in a childcare facility, what steps should be taken to protect the indoor air quality, and what is the best commercial grade air purifier to use in your kids’ daycare to protect against airborne pathogens.
Why is Good Ventilation Important in Childcare
Did you know that almost 40 percent of young children in the United States spend their days in a licensed childcare facility? This means that this is the second environment, other than the home where children are highly exposed to in their early life. According to NCSL, there are approximately 266,017 licensed childcare centers and childcare homes subject to state and local laws. Each state will require specific requirements of these facilities that will help to ensure the health and safety of the children housed within these childcare facilities. It has been found that some childcare facilities may have issues such as lead-based paint, lead in the water source, asbestos, and radon.
Additionally, indoor air quality has become an increasing concern in childcare centers as poor indoor air quality can have an adverse effect on the health of young children. The National Library of Medicine study called Ventilation in Day Care Centers and Sick Leave Among Nursery Children, several studies have reported that poor indoor air quality (IAQ) in day care centers have shown that children attending these facilities have an increased risk of respiratory and gastrointestinal infections. One of the main components to helping mitigate airborne pollutants is sufficient ventilation within the indoor space of the daycare center. Ventilation allows for contaminated, dirty air to be filtered out by fresh clean outdoor air to help bring down the levels of airborne pollutants.
Children’s Environmental Health Issues
It is important to understand that environmental risks can have an impact on the health and development of children, from birth through childhood and adolescence. Children can often times be at an increasing risk of health problems from environmental issues due to their development, as they are still growing and developing throughout the childhood. Some of the most adverse environmental conditions and pollution that can affect children include air pollution, inadequate water, sanitation and hygiene, hazardous chemicals and waste, radiation, and climate change – according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
All children can be affected differently by environmental hazards in the environment. However, when it comes to airborne pollution the risks can be heightened for children because they breathe in more air into their body than an adult which increases the overall risks. Therefore, when there are pollutants in the air such as chemicals (like VOCs), odorous compounds, and allergens in the air that a child is exposed to in large concentrations, the health risks can be alarming – which is why the indoor air quality in daycare centers is vitally important for the young students health in this environment.
National Standards for Child Daycare Facilities
When it comes to picking the right childcare facility for your young children it is important to do the necessary research and see what licenses and national standards the facility is following as it operates. One of the topics that are covered in these licensing standards for childcare facilities is the safety of the building and the indoor environment. Safety is of the utmost concern inside a childcare center or facility and included in that category is the indoor environment conditions in this indoor space such as air pollution and contaminants. According to the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), indoor levels of pollutants may be two to five times – and occasionally more than 100 times – higher than outdoor pollution levels. Thus, the importance of considering airborne pollution levels in daycare schools and facilities.
The National Standards for Child Daycare Facilities is another step that is taken by Government to ensure a better, safer, and healthier environment for children. These standards are there to make sure that maximum benefits are derived by the children, parents, and the community. The national standards for child daycare centers are essential to the delivery of quality day care to your children, and in order to stimulate and enhance their emotional, social and educational development as they progress. They believe, as well as parents and teachers, that children deserve the best possible care for their well-being and development, and thus why it is become necessary that daycare facilities follow these National Standards and give the best possible care and safe environments for children as they inhabit these indoor spaces. If you are a parent and are looking to place your kid in a daycare center, be sure to check to make sure they are following these national standards.
What is Needed in the Indoor Environment in a Childcare Center
The components of a safe and effective learning environment for children is important for childhood development, and this will include daycare facilities for young children. The indoor space in which your child is placed into to enhance their learning and development can have a drastic impact, especially when there are environmental risks present in the space such as indoor air pollution. When it comes to maintaining safe cleaning practices and a safe indoor space for children you will need to use proper cleaning and sanitation products, air filtration, and reduce the use of chemical products and toxins in the environment.
Cleaning the indoor space of a daycare facility will include the use of bleach and other disinfect products that should be used on shared items and surfaces such as tables, toys, and other play areas. Additionally, air filtration can also be another helpful tool to use in the space to help in the mitigation process of airborne pollutants in the air. Many air purifiers use various technologies to filter and clean the air and thus it is important to understand what each air purifier technology does, and which is best to use in this particular environment.
Indoor Air Quality Tools for Schools
Did you know that the EPA does not require schools to monitor their air quality? The Environmental Working Group elaborated on the current testing procedures currently conducted in schools today when it comes to indoor air quality problems. They stated the following; “The EPA does not require schools to monitor their air quality, submit information about it or even use the voluntary tools, so it’s important for parents to speak up if this is an issue in their children’s school.” When it comes to indoor air quality problems that may be an issue in a school, the main areas to focus on will include improving HVAC systems, maintaining filters and carbon monoxide detectors, controlling moisture and mold, managing pests, and carefully selecting safe building materials and cleaners.
In a daycare center that is concerned about indoor air quality or that has been presented by a parent or daycare official that there may be issues related to poor IAQ in this structure, proper testing should be conducted to determine the pollutant levels in the school. Testing the indoor air quality in a school can be easier than what school officials may believe, all with the help of smart indoor air quality monitors. The Airthings Wave Plus Indoor Air Quality Monitor with Radon Detection is a great option for commercial spaces such as schools, for monitoring indoor air pollutant levels. Airthings Wave Plus is the first ever smart indoor air quality monitor with radon detection, designed for homes and all populated spaces. A clean air detector enabling you to gain full visibility into six factors; radon, airborne chemicals (TVOCs), carbon dioxide (CO2) humidity, temperature and air pressure. Radon is the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers. Protect your family by ensuring harmful radon gas levels stay low by monitoring daily. Breathe easy knowing your air is free of toxins and chemicals (VOCs) found in everyday items. Airthings Wave Plus is Battery operated allowing you to install anywhere, with 16 months battery life using Bluetooth.
Additionally, air purification is another way to treat and remove pollutants such as chemicals, VOC’s, and particulate matter from the air of a daycare facility. When placing air purification solutions in an indoor environment like a school, the need for multiple air quality products will be needed in the space such as HVAC filters and air purifiers that are designed to work against toxic and noxious odors and chemicals. In addition, schools can be a breeding ground for bacteria, germs, and other microorganisms (like mold spores). As these pathogens begin their production in this indoor environment it can have an impact on the air quality and on the health of the students and staff that spend large amounts of time in this school environment during the week.
The EnviroKlenz UV Air Purifier is a highly-effective air purification device that is designed to filter out not only the fine particulate matter with the utilization of a hospital-grade HEPA filter as the second stage of filtration, but it also provides the capability to contain and neutralize a broad spectrum of toxic chemicals as well. Additionally, positioned between these two filters are UVC lights that work to effectively eradicate collected microorganisms on the HEPA filter, providing deactivation and destruction capabilities to bacteria, viruses, and mold spores. The EnviroKlenz patented earth mineral technology was engineered to safely and effectively contain, collect, and neutralize chemical compounds and odors from the airspace to provide healthier air quality and safer environments for human health. In addition, the EnviroKlenz Air Purifier works in-conjunction with the EnviroKlenz HVAC filters to impactfully clean the indoor air rapidly, with both air quality solutions utilizing the proprietary EnviroKlenz technology.
Therefore, integrating an air purification device that covers chemical and odor neutralization, airborne particulate removal, and UVC lights for microorganism destruction will be a triple threat air filtration product for any daycare facility environment to control air quality levels and reduce health risks to the school’s students.
- NCSL: Environmental Concerns at Child Care Facilities (link)
- National Library of Medicine: Ventilation in Day Care Centers and Sick Leave Among Nursery Children (link)
- World Health Organization (WHO): Children’s Environmental Health (link)
- Environmental Protection Agency (EPA): Why Indoor Air Quality is Important to Schools (link)
- Environmental Working Group (EWG): How to Improve Air Quality at Your Children’s School (link)
UV Mobile Air System
The EnviroKlenz UV Mobile Air System utilizes hospital-grade technology to provide maximum air cleaning efficiency for your home and office. It combines certified HEPA filtration along with our patented EnviroKlenz Air Cartridge (with the added addition of UVC lights) to remove airborne pollen, dust, odors, mold, gasses, fragrance, VOCs, allergens, bacteria, and more.
✓ Patented Earth Mineral Technology works to attack the VOC and break down on a compound level.
✓ Powder coated metal housing – Made in the USA
✓ No chemicals or masking agents
✓ Will not release any chemicals back into your environment
✓ Safer and faster at removing VOC’s than traditional carbon filters and Peco air purifier