Air quality index issues

smogThe air quality index (AQI) tells you how healthy the air is to breathe each day. It tells you how clean your air is or how polluted it is with solid particles and gases. The AQI focuses on health effects you may experience within a few hours or days after breathing polluted air.

Harmful ozone forms when pollutants react to heat and sunlight. This is why we see more smog in the spring and summer. You probably have noticed your local weather report now includes a number or color for each day’s AQI. It’s important to pay attention to this. Here’s a link to a chart that explains the air quality index.

For their size, children take in more air (and pollution) than adults when they breathe. Their young lungs are continually growing and their airways are more likely to narrow in reaction to pollutants. When running around, which is most of the time in our house, children breathe faster and more deeply than adults. This can bring the pollutants in the air further into their lungs.

Children with respiratory ailments, asthma or other breathing difficulties should be kept indoors when the AQI rises. Keep an eye on your local AQI and adapt your planned activities for the day if necessary. It’s important to follow their doctor’s instructions for asthma treatments and to have assistive devices (like inhalers) nearby when the AQI is high.

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