Why Kids Are Especially at Risk
There is another thing that parents need to know: All children have special vulnerabilities to toxic substances. First, kids' unique behaviors place them at risk. For example, they like to play on the floor amidst the possibly contaminated spills and dust created by a busy family. Also, very young kids explore their environment by hand-to-mouth activity, and in the process may put things in their mouths that we adults would not.
Children are especially vulnerable to polluted indoor air. Because they have higher metabolic rates, children require more oxygen and breathe in two to three times as much air relative to their body size than adults. Children's systems are still developing as they move through stages of rapid growth and development, from infancy through adolescence. Exposure to toxic substances can affect fetal, infant, and childhood growth, especially development of the nervous system.