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Pollution a problem for infants/babies?

  1. #33
    NYCMel is offline Registered User
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    I moved to HK from Manhattan this past June. I never knew you could really see pollution until we moved here with our now 10 month year old son. It's bad....we bought the IQ Air Filter for his room and when we can't see across the bay, we don't even really leave our flat. We live on the southside as a result of the pollution. There is still pollution over here, but it's less. It also gets worse in the winter time as the pollution from the factors blows directly onto HK Island. If you are thinking about moving and are concerned about the pollution, do think about living on the southside - Repulse Bay, Tai Tam, Redhill, Deep Water Bay etc...These all have very large ex-pat family populations.

  2. #34
    AndreaY is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by MLBW View Post
    Gives SOME people the opportunity. Not everyone can afford that and not everyone has the room to have another body living with them--or likes to have another body living with them.

    I don't think that HK has that many things for kids to do. It certainly doesn't have much grass or safe places for them to play (well, I haven't been to too many of the "gated communities" in HK so maybe inside of those it does). Sure, if you've got bucks to spend, there are tons of things to do anywhere. I am definitely biased as I have lived in a place with clean air and nice parks (as well as handicap ramps that can be used for a stroller). Apart from the shopping malls and all the classes parents put their kids in--I don't see a lot of benefits for kids to live in HK. But, as usual...that's just me....
    I am extremely curious, why on earth are you staying in HK? There must be something particularly attractive to you here that you are not telling us about, one that outweighs all the cons of letting your children live in such a terrible hole. Cos if I felt the same way, I'd have uprooted my family and be living the clean, healthy, kids' friendly life to which I have been acustomed.

    Also, there are some who like having helpers and some who do not, it's just unfair to be sarcastic and attack another saying it's a privilege for rich people who live in gated communities. Please just take a good look around and you will see there are many local families who are not rich nor live in big flats in nice areas that have hired helpers to help out. It can't be very nice to be living in very cramped quarters for the helpers, but that's another thread altogether...

  3. #35
    sherwes is offline Registered User
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    MLBW,

    I am friends with people who have helpers and people who don't so I certainly don't think that everyone has a helper or assume that everyone can afford one or wants one. However would I be going out on a limb if I suggested that most expat families have a helper? It would be interesting to see the stats...

    I live in Mid-Levels and there are a number of playgrounds near my flat as well as the zoo. Yes, the lack of grass for children to play on is lamentable (the security guard kicked myself and my bub off the grass at the Botanical Gardens last week - apparently the grass is for looking at only!). However, there is a big grassy area at Pokfulam which we take our little one to. If you live on HK island you should check it out. In terms of activities such as Gymboree, Panda Junction and the like there is a much larger choice here than where I am from and it is all closer. As noted those classes or expensive so we also have "play group" at our apartment and 2 or 3 other babies come along for some fun. As you've pointed out nothing is stroller friendly but my arm muscles are coming along nicely and I find that people are always willing to help me get the stoller down steps. Maybe I am just in a good mood today....

  4. #36
    LeahH is offline Registered User
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    I wholly agree with Sherwes, HK offers some wonderful opportunities for children and I have lived all over the world (NZ originally where the air couldn't be cleaner...)

    We've been here 3 years and hardly ever take bub to malls, we find open grass in the country parks, hidden beaches (admittedly you need a car for that kind of exploration) and many other outdoor joys.

    Safety is another benefit, and not just for young children. As kids grow up here, they enjoy a level of freedom that you won't see in many other places. The lack of opportunistic, petty and violent crime is something I'm very grateful for (coming as I did from London...)

    Re. helpers, ours lives out so we maintain a balance between privacy and the invaluable assistance (which, as stated above, is a major plus point for your relationship). If I was back in London or NY, I would really struggle to be able to pay for daycare - so while not everyone may be able to afford a helper in HK, the reality is a huge number (local and expat) can as it's relatively affordable.

    The pollution is undeniable, but to balance that nature is signifcantly more accessible than many other capital cities I've lived in. We were in the midlevels yet only 2 mins from a country park - we're now in Pokfulam and near any number of walks for the dog and baby.

    If I or my children have a health issue down the line where pollution is demonstrably a factor, I'd leave - but until then, I feel fortunate to be here on balance.

  5. #37
    Neha is offline Banned
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    We had the same problem on Saturday at the Botanical Garden about walking on the grass, But after taking my son off the grass for the 20th time. I just let him run and I told the guard she was more than welcome to run after him and take him off. I tried explaining to her he was not touching any plants he was just running from from one side to another and she didnt bother me again.

    On Caine Road the garden if u go up on the left side they have grass there where we actually let our son walk bare feet and he loves it .

    I just feel all those people who complain all the time about HK not having enough nature things to do for kids or the pollution and are basically pessimistic people. I believe if u have chosen to live in a place u must try and find what is good about that place instead of pointing all negative aspects of that place and comparing it to all the other places that u come from or u have lived.

  6. #38
    Zeppo is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by NYC2HK View Post
    I am very interested to hear what came of Liz1975's move to HK. My husband and I are are considering an offer in HK (we had actually decided to go and then began to hear pollution horror stories) and we have a 7 month old. We currently live in NYC and in consulting a pediatric pulminologist, were told that HK's pollution was not significantly worse than that of NYC. We are so confused!

    I am definitely opposed to bringing my baby somewhere that will risk her health - is the pollution really so bad? Does anyone know if there are statistics that I can refer to? The HK EPD website makes it seem as though the pollution is mild/moderate. Am I missing something?

    Any input/personal testimonials are welcome! I would love to have the adventure of living in Hong Kong - is the pollution really a deal-breaker?
    My reply may be too late - have you already moved here? My family moved here from NYC a few months ago. The pollution here is definitely worse than NYC! Granted,we lived in a NYC suburb,but we often visited Manhattan, and Hong Kong air is very noticeably worse than Manhattan air! It is the main reason that we will probably to return to NYC next year, rather than spend the 2 or 3 years that we had originally planned. Sorry to be a party pooper. Some people seem to not mind the lousy air here, but for my family it is a serious problem.

  7. #39
    NYCMel is offline Registered User
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    yes agreed. the pollution is definitely worse here than in NYC!

  8. #40
    Zeppo is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by NYCMel View Post
    yes agreed. the pollution is definitely worse here than in NYC!
    How is the IQ air filter that you mentioned in a previous post in this thread? We want to buy an air filter ASAP, but wonder which one is best.

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