I think the haze has been a problem for quite a few years, but the first time I felt affected by it was in June 2013. Other than hitting a record high PSI on 21 June, the problem was magnified for me because I had a 2-month-old baby at home then! Fortunately the haze went away and we did not suffer any obvious effects.
Unfortunately the haze is back with a vengeance this September. Initially, I felt very relaxed and nonchalant about it. As in, I still opened all the windows up to PSI of 150, though I did cut down on outdoor activities (which we usually do A LOT of).
Then, as I started seeing more and more posts on FB of scarily high PSI and started checking other air quality websites in addition to NEA, I became more worried. This worry was followed by confusion – so many sources, which should I trust?
The more I read (online articles, government health advisories, friends’ FB posts), the more I think that people are being too alarmist. Whenever someone posts a frighteningly high PSI, guess what, it’s usually the highest number one can find…. sometimes it’s the 3-hourly, sometimes the 24-hourly, sometimes the PSI itself, sometimes the PM2.5 index, sometimes Singapore as a whole, sometimes regional.
Finally I decide to follow NEA’s guidelines. Now I only refer to NEA’s numbers. And I use PSI of 100 and PM2.5 of 40 as cut-off. Above 100, close all windows, switch on air purifier (we only have one for my 145sqm!).
Below 100 and PM2.5 less than 40, we chiong downstairs to the playground.
How about masks? We did not have any chance to wear masks as we only went out when the air was good, though I had some N95 at home. But after being stuck at home the whole day yesterday, with the house becoming a furnace by mid-afternoon due to lack of ventilation, I decided to bring the kids to an indoor playground this morning. Though we were only outside at the void deck for less than five minutes (waiting for our taxi), I could feel the choking effect.
[Disclaimer: I think most of the discomfort I felt, such as increased heart rate and breathing difficulties, were due to anxiety as I imagined the harmful effects on my children.]
Realized that the masks did not fit well. The boys’ N95 were a bit loose. Meimei could only wear paper masks….. AHHHHHHHH……!!
Immediately after alighting at our destination, we dashed to the nearest pharmacy to buy more masks. I remembered reading about a new AIR+ Smart Mask from some blogs. Actually I didn’t read properly as I thought my kids wouldn’t really have to wear masks anyway, just stay at home the whole day. Now I know, even if it’s to go downstairs to take a cab or Daddy’s car, I also want them to be wearing mask.
According to the size chart on the box, size S is too big for my boys. The website states that it is designed for users ‘as young as 7 years old’. But I bought a box to try, and it does fit both Kor Kor (almost 6, skinny face) and Didi (4+, chubby face) quite well! Yay!
[Not a sponsored post ok]
However, even though the boys tried on the masks in an aircon place, they still felt rather uncomfortable. I think the ventilator will help greatly to ease their discomfort! But it is now out of stocks, boo hoo.
Meimei completely refuses to even try it on >.<
I have also been cooking white fungus soup and Chinese pear soup very often. These are desserts and the kids eat at least one serving a day. Didi and Meimei love the snow fungus! For dinner soup, I have been cooking lotus root more often, and also other cooling soups like old cucumber and watercress. Click on the links for the recipes.
Lastly, Mummies, don’t forget to take care of your complexion! Use more cleansing and purifying and antioxidant masks ok!
Stay healthy and pretty!