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How Indoor Quality Affects Students’ Academic Performance

How Indoor Quality Affects Students’ Academic Performance

How Indoor Quality Affects Students’ Academic Performance

Supportive parents are creative when it comes to giving their child’s self-confidence a boost in terms of schoolwork and academic success. Tutoring is one way to ensure children understand crucial concepts, improve their attention and memory, learn at their own level, and follow a program that will ensure they learn to think analytically in addition to memorizing key concepts. One thing nearly everyone takes for granted, however, is that their home environment is conducive to learning. In fact, research indicates that poor indoor quality can hamper children’s academic success.

When the Air Indoors is More Toxic than it is Outdoors

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), “a growing body of scientific evidence has indicated that the air within homes and other buildings can be more seriously polluted than the outdoor air in even the largest and most industrialized cities.” At the same time, people spend around 90% of their time indoors, indicating that health risks posed by indoor pollution could be greater than that encountered outdoors.

What are Common Health Risks Caused by Indoor Pollution?

Breathing in fine particles, mold, harsh cleaning products, and dust mites can lead to various conditions, including allergies, asthma, and respiratory illness. Air pollution has also been linked to heart disease, and specific cancers, including lung and breast cancer. Those who are most susceptible to the effects of pollution are precisely those who are most vulnerable: children and the elderly.

The Effect of Indoor Air Pollution on School Performance

Studies have shown that improving schools’ ventilation rates can reduce absence and the transmission of infectious diseases, and improve test scores and student performance in completing mental tasks.

In one study, students in classrooms with better ventilation scored 14% to 15% higher on tests than children in classrooms that were poorly ventilated.

Asthma is actually the number one reason that kids stay home from school, meaning  that children can miss out on vital information and tips, which in turn can show up in poorer test scores or cause them to lag behind in crucial subjects such as maths.

How Can You Tell if Your Child is Affected by Poor Indoor Quality?

Symptoms caused by indoor air pollution include having an itchy throat, headache, coughing, and wheezing.

How Can Parents Help Children?

  • Ask if your school has an air quality management program in place. By reducing moisture, ventilating more, and avoiding harsh chemicals, pollution levels can be lowered considerably. At home, you can do the same by ensuring there is no mold or dampness (fix any leaks and see about getting mold professionally treated).
  • Try to use gentler cleaning products rather than those containing bleach and other harsh components. Steam clean when you can instead of using chemicals.
  • Humidity levels should be strictly controlled to prevent mold; keep your home levels at beneath 50% all day; you may have to use a HVAC system or dehumidifier to achieve this.
  • Avoid burning paraffin candles, which release toxins into the air.
  • Try to reduce the number of spray personal care items you use.
  • Pressed wood furniture should ideally be replaced, since the glue that holds it together can contain formaldehyde, which harms your family’s health.

Finally, consider installing a HEPA filter, which can get rid of the vast majority of particles measuring more than 0.3 microns.

Air quality affects children’s health and academic performance. To reduce the likelihood of school absences and effects on test scores, talk to your school about their air quality program, and do your best to turn your home into a safe haven filled with clean air.

Written by Sally Writes

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