A safety expert, Dr Okunola Olusola, has urged parents to reduce their children’s exposure to household dust to avoid weakening their respiratory system.

Olusola, the Deputy Director of World Safety Organisation (WSO), Nigeria Office, disclosed this on Thursday, April 4 in Lagos.

He said that parents must keep curtains and windows clean at home to reduce their children’s contact with dust.

The Paediatric Neurologist at University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH) said that the weather was hot and dusty hence children needed protection from dust mite.

Dust mites are microscopic, insect-like pests that commonly live in house dust. They feed on flakes of dead skin, or dander, that are shed by people and pets. They are also a common cause of allergic reactions through their waste.

The WSO director said “the challenge is that dust will weaken the effectiveness of the respiratory system to clear mucus out of the airways and in the process, it will make it easier for infections to settle into the airways.

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“The weather is hot, so we can’t be talking of protective clothing to reduce the amount of cold in the air, and right now, the environment is quite hot and dusty.

“There is need to reduce the inhouse dust because for some children who are asthmatic or who are allergic, there is an organism in house dust called ‘house dust mite’ and if left unclean, the dust mite will thrive.

“And when it thrives, that means there will be frequent asthma attack in children who have the ailment, frequent runny and itchy nose and eyes, simply because there’s so much dust in the environment.

“So, keeping the windows closed will help, but the windows should also be opened when dust is less prevalent, so that there can be cross ventilation.”

The paediatrician also advised parents to give children lots of water to drink, adding that water would help the mucus escalator mechanism that is in the airways to flush out dust and dirt’s already inhaled.

He said cough and sneezes are prevalent at this time because of the enormous amount in the air, which had made it easier for bacteria to settle in the entire immune activity of the airway.

The safety expert said the air contained particles, bacteria and various other things which the mucus in the nose ought to trap for the body to release through coughing or sneezing.

Olusola urged parents to ensure that children play on fields full of grasses and wet the ground regularly to prevent dust from being raised.

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