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Parents everywhere are rightfully getting more and more concerned with the effect of the environment on their children’s well-being. Although parents should still keep an eye out for scraped knees and runny noses, there are a whole host of other factors you have to monitor if you want to keep your family safe.

A recent study discovered that parents were more concerned with their children overusing social media than how their home environment can affect their health. However, if you want to keep your children happy, healthy and alive, you have to pay attention to certain factors around your house.

The following are seven environmental factors around your home that can seriously impact your family’s health.

House surrounded by a picket fence set amongst trees
  1. Chemical Exposure

Some areas can be exposed to certain chemicals because of accidents or their history. For example, an old watchmaking factory can be soaked in radium, a radioactive substance, for decades after it’s been turned into commercial housing. Oil spills and chemical run-off can ruin the chemical balance of the area for years, which can cause all sorts of medical complications in your children.

The best way to avoid such exposure from affecting your family is to thoroughly research the property before you settle down. Browse the internet for mentions of any industrial or commercial factories that could have stood in your community. See if there have been any major chemical spills in the area that can have long-lasting effects on your community.

If you already own property in an area that has endured chemical exposure, there are a few options you can explore. Equipment such as a wash bay oil/water separator can remove traces of oil from your drainage and plumping filters can remove harmful substances from your pipes. However, these are expensive options and it’s better to avoid living in such an area if you can

2. Air Pollution

The number of particulates and gasses released into the atmosphere each day is enormous and undoubtedly affects people worldwide. These types of airborne pollutants, namely carbon gasses and other types of exhaust, can cause respiratory issues such as asthma, increased risk of certain cancers and other alarming effects.

Some of the healthiest places to live in the country and the world boast the lowest levels of particulates in the air. These places tend to be less industrialized, with plenty of fresh air and greenery to help filter the air. However, moving to such locations is definitely a luxury. If you can’t live in such a place, you can still avoid neighbourhoods near factories, motorways and similar smoke-heavy environments.

If you want to make your home less susceptible to air pollutants, the options are limited and expensive. Air scrubbers in your ventilation and air conditioning units are expensive treatments. Planting greenery around your home can reduce carbon dioxide and catch a few particles but are simply token efforts. Choosing a perfect location for a home is really the best defence against exposing your family to air pollution.

3. Health Accessibility

Reasonable access to hospitals, pharmacies and similar healthcare facilities is absolutely crucial to the well-being of your family. However, this factor often gets overshadowed by things like water contamination and air pollution. But if your home is too far or too inaccessible to healthcare, you can be facing huge problems in the future. Doctor’s appointments can be harder to keep and buying supplements and medicine can be tough. More importantly, in case of a medical emergency, the distance between your home and the nearest hospital can be too far.

Determining the health accessibility of a house can be easy. You can ask the estate agent and they can advise the time and distance between healthcare facilities. Sometimes the issues aren’t event distance related. Your home can be only a mile away from a hospital, but if the streets are always deadlocked in traffic, it can be almost impossible to have reliable healthcare. Doing your own research and looking up the nearest hospital and medical facilities to your house is essential when planning on settling down anywhere.

If you live in an area that is inaccessible to nearby healthcare facilities, you have to compensate in other ways. Make sure that you meticulously schedule hospital appointments and arrange for transportation beforehand. Always have enough first aid training and supplies to ensure you can handle basic medical emergencies without relying on EMTs.

Environmental factors like accessibility, air pollution, and chemical exposure are just as harmful to your child’s development as mental illness and physical inactivity. Make sure to keep a watchful eye on these factors when looking for a new home or in your current home and you will have an easier time keeping your family healthy.

As a parent, your primary concern should be keeping your children safe. Learn environmental factors around your home that can affect your family's well-being.

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