It’s that dreaded time of the year again, where Singapore gets shrouded by haze and you feel as if there’s a hand around your throat all day long. Although the haze has been fairly moderate the past few days, it’s still especially harmful for our minis, so here are some precautions and measures to take that hopefully can go some way towards minimising the effects.
According to the Ministry of Health’s website, most of us only need to don a mask if exposed to air quality with the PSI exceeding 300. But ‘vulnerable’ people — those who suffer from chronic lung or heart disease, the elderly, and pregnant women (especially those in their 2nd and 3rd trimesters) — need to get those masks out once the PSI exceeds 200.
We would recommend reusable respirators instead of face mask. For the minis, try brands such as Totobobo or Vogmasks as the generic N95s and surgical masks are often ill-fitting and would irritate their faces.
The masks from Totobobo have an interesting history (they were originally meant for the owner’s children), and can be trimmed to fit little ones faces. Though recommended for children five years and older, it has been known to fit children as young as 2.5 years of age. Totobobo masks come with a unique UNIFit system, which allows for better fit, comfort, and protection against harmful particles in the air.
With over a dozen brands to choose from, it’s hard to know which purifier is the best for you. Personally, when the haze hits hard, I’ll turn to my trusty Novita Puriclean Complete 3-in-1 Air Purifier to clear the air. When choosing which purifier to get, it would be preferable to choose one with a Hepa (high-efficiency particulate air) filter. These ultra-fine filters trap everything and anything harmful, from spores to the infamous PM 2.5 air particles. Other things to take into consideration include whether you are a light sleeper, as some purifiers may disrupt your sleep, or the amount of space you have for the purifier. If you don’t have much space for one, then you would need to take the unit size into account.
Our Chief Creative Mummy Melissa, on the other hand loves her Dyson Pure Cool. Not only is it a fan but also purifies the air using a technology that passes air through a360° Glass HEPA filter, helping to capture up to 99.95 per cent of particles as small as PM0.1). Samsung’s Air Purifier AX022HC with its inbuilt virus doctor is another favourite of hers.
For a full list of available recommended purifiers, you can check out this site here.
Main Precautions to Take
When the air quality gets very bad, it’s much better to switch on the air conditioner, shut the windows and stay indoors. Most hazy days, however, it will be relatively safe to carry out outdoor activities as long as the PSI doesn’t get too high. Still, ensure you and your minis get sufficient hydration, as water can help flush toxins out of your system. Lots of fruits and vegetables will do the trick and remember to load up on Vitamin C (Guardian’s Effervescent C or C1000mg or C500 mg for example) while you’re at it!