When the air quality is poor, it's important that schools and kids take the proper precautions. Brittany Guerra, the Health Program Specialist for the Utah Asthma Program stopped by to let parents know about the Recess Guidelines based on air quality.
Poor air quality can affect your health
o During inversion season, the primary pollutant of concern is PM2.5
o Every person has a different sensitivity to air pollution
o Populations that are especially vulnerable include children, seniors, and those with chronic lung or heart conditions (e.g. asthma, cystic fibrosis, congenital heart disease)
Tips for protecting your lungs during inversion season:
o Learn what level of air pollution you and your child are sensitive to
o Check air quality levels before outdoor activities
- We know that indoor air quality is better than outdoor air quality during an inversion.
- Move exercise indoors when air pollution reaches unhealthy levels.
o For those with asthma, take your medications as directed by your physician
o Schools can follow the Recess Guidance, a set of air quality guidelines for schools to use in determining whether to cancel outdoor recess on bad air days.
There are a number of things parents can do to work with schools to protect their kid.
o Become an expert on the Recess Guidance and be aware of current air quality levels
o Talk to your child’s doctor to determine if your child is sensitive to poor air quality
o Let your child’s school know about your child’s sensitivity to poor air quality
During inversion season, do your part to help reduce pollution in the air
o UCAIR 5 tips for improving Utah air quality:
- Carpool once a week: 60 mile daily commute could save $4,388 annually
- Ride transit when you can: ride transit once a week will reduce emissions by 5.4 pounds.
- Never idle your car: an easy lifestyle change. If going to stop your car for 30 seconds, turn off the engine.
- Plan ahead to save significant time and money on your commute.
- Have your company participate in the Clear the Air Challenges, during the month of February: The goal is to eliminate 300,000 single-occupant trips to save two million miles.