delhi children are breathing poison as toxic smog engulfs city
Children in Delhi, a city in India, are worst-hit by air pollution. Delhi regularly ranks among the most polluted major cities on the planet, and children are bearing the consequences of the toxic smog. Nobody in Delhi seems to take responsibility as ‘pollution season’ shrouds the city.
Delhi children are breathing poison and not air. Children are seen crying in a hospital bed with a nebuliser mask. One-month old babies are also suffering as residents have been forced to breathe toxic air.
One-month-old baby, Ayansh Tiwari, has been suffering due to a hacking cough. His doctors have blamed the toxic air quality for his deteriorating health conditions. For over a week, pollution levels in Delhi have remained in the “severe” category.
Delhi children are breathing poison
Chacha Nehru Bal Chikitsalaya hospital in Delhi is crowded with children struggling to breathe because of toxic air quality. Many children are also suffering from asthma and pneumonia, and they need a nebuliser mask to breathe.
Toxic smog and poor air quality are annual events for Delhi’s 33 million residents. Each winter, the cases of asthma and pneumonia spike because of air pollution.
Ayansh’s mother Julie Tiwari told AFP, “Wherever you see there is poisonous smog. I try to keep the doors and windows closed as much as possible. But it’s like breathing poison all the time.”
Under this scenario, children are more vulnerable to air pollution than adults. They breathe toxic air more quickly because their brains, lungs and other organs are not fully developed.
According to air monitoring firm IQAir, the level of PM2.5 particles — the smallest and most harmful, which can enter the bloodstream — topped 390 micrograms per cubic meter.
Dhulika Dhingra, a pediatric pulmonologist at the hospital, told the media, “It’s a maddening rush in our emergency room during this time.”
Children who breathe toxic air are at higher risk of developing acute respiratory infections, according to UNICEF (United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund).
In 2021, it was revealed that nearly 1 out of every 3 schoolchildren in Delhi had asthma and breathing problems.
Currently, children are unable to go to the schools and play outdoor games in the playground because of the air pollution. They are locked inside their homes.
Breathing fresh air is the right of every child. The health authorities in Delhi must take strict measures to ensure children’s safety.