Houseplants can be Beneficial for Children

Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum)

It may seem strange at first glance, but having plants in your home can be quite beneficial if you have young children.

Plants are very effective in removing chemicals such as formaldehyde from the air. These chemicals can have a harmful effect on children so removing them from the atmosphere can only be a good thing.

So why are these chemicals such a problem? It has long been suspected that they are at the root of some of the childhood allergies and asthma occurrences that are so prevalent today.

How airborne chemicals can build up inside your home

Most of the build-up occurs during winter months or in summer, when there is less air flow as doors and windows are shut to keep out the cold or the heat. At this time of year it is especially useful to have plants inside your home, especially in your child’s bedroom where he or she is likely to spend approximately 10 hours per day if they are very young.

Houseplants safe for children

If you are going to have plants around a young child who could potentially attempt to put them in their mouth then you obviously need to know which plants are safe to have in a child’s room.

Areca palms fall within this category. They are an excellent choice although you may find they are not that long lived in an indoor situation. That being said they are relatively easy to maintain as they need little watering and only need to be fed once or twice during the growing season. You need to make sure that they have bright light, and ideally direct sunlight for at least part of the time.

Another great house plant for use in a child’s room is the Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum - as pictured above courtesy of Instructables.com); with their spider shaped growth these plants are also sure to keep young minds fascinated. Spider plants do not need a lot of attention as long as you remember to keep them evenly moist. They don’t need direct sun light and are perfectly happy at normal household temperatures.

sansevieria
Sansevieria courtesy of Gaddys
Not for young children

Avoid using the popular plant Sansevieria which is also known by the common name "Mother in Laws Tongue". Although it is well regarded as a great houseplant for it's air cleaning properties, it is toxic when ingested and should never be placed in a young child's bedroom.

How houseplants clean the air

Plants remove chemicals from the air around them in two ways.

The first is by absorption through the leaves of the plant. The second involves microorganisms that exist around the roots of a plant. When the plant pulls chemicals from the air down to its roots, during the process of transpiration these microorganisms convert the chemicals into energy for themselves and for the plant they are living on.

The more these processes happen the less toxic chemicals there are in the air around the plant. Of course, air purifying aside, plants can be a great addition to a child’s room simply as a way of creating an environment of bright colors and shapes for your child to take interest in. Invest in some plants today and your child will get the health benefits as well as a colorful room to play and sleep in.