Pollutants Attack Our Children in Winter

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The new millennium is witnessing increase in pollutants and increase of diseases due to climatic changes. Though asthma is perhaps the most important disease with an increasing incidence in winter, other diseases, such as allergic reactions, bronchitis and respiratory infections also have been on the increase. The cause of these increases may be due at least in part to the effects of air pollution and global warming.

Winter the season of pollutants

In India, winter begins with a season of winds. Pollutants are filled in the air. Temperature goes down step by step. Most of the children are affected during winter with respiratory health hazards.

1) During winter, drop in temperature and the high level of moisture in the air cause discomfort in children all over the world. Children are easily susceptible to respiratory diseases. Most of the children are affected with acute respiratory infections in winter.

2) Ozone is one of the most important air pollutants affecting human health in certain regions all over the world. Global warming has caused much damage to this hazard. When ozone comes into contact with a surface it rapidly releases extra force in the form of chemical energy which can cause damage to sensitive tissues in the respiratory passage.

3) Estimates say that more than 50% children in India suffer from respiratory ailments such as wheezing, cough and asthma.

4) Rising of pollution levels are worsening the situation day by day. More and more complicated diseases are creeping into humanity and are spread in the air.

5) Many factors trigger this pollution problem. In the metros, it is mostly vehicular pollution and in the rural areas it is caused by pesticides and insecticides.

6) Children from 0 to 5 years suffer from wheezing or asthma because their bronchial pipes are narrow and even small dust particles can obstruct them. Dr. Agarwal, pediatrician and neonatologist, Fortis Hospital, Mohali, says that most of the children of this age group are affected with pollutants triggered by fog, dust and cold baths.

7) Smog, a contraction of the words smoke and fog, has increased all over the world, causing great damage to human health. This is caused by smoke from various sources, including vehicles. Another form of smog is called industrial smog. This formation of smog worsens the health situation in winter.  

8)  Researches reveal that the cold dry air during winter can lead to tightening of the muscles and lungs, which in turn, hampers breathing and can block the airways and cause infections. It is seen that more than 8 children out of every ten 10 in India face asthma attacks in winter.

9) Infections are easier in cold climate since viruses and bacteria thrive in cold weather. This is another reason for increase of respiratory diseases in winter. Moreover, in India, it winter has some monsoon showers also.

10) Overcrowding of population is another reason for the spread of pollutants. Modern society life has made infection in children faster and easier than the early times. 

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