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Monday, January 7, 2013

Kids-recess-dirty air

(Shutterstock image)

If you live in an area with bad air quality, how do you know if it's okay for your kids to play outside at recess? The air quality is so bad here, it looks like you have to chew it before you can breathe it in! But how dangerous is it?

The Utah Department of Health's Asthma Program has a website just for schools. It's called Recess Guidance For Schools Based on Air Quality. You can
  • Check to see what the air quality is for the day. 
  • You can get air quality recess alerts via email. 
  • You can even watch a clever video about air quality, schools, and recess.
Some days the pollution LOOKS really bad, but technically, it's "safe to breathe." There are days when it's safe for healthy people to breathe. Today, the warning says:
Health Advisory: Sensitive people with respiratory or heart disease, the elderly and children should avoid prolonged or heavy exertion. Everyone else should reduce prolonged or heavy exertion.
If you read "respiratory" that means asthma (or COPD) . That also means I won't be going spending anytime outdoors today. Luckily my kids are older now, and no longer have recess at their schools. But there are plenty of other kids who still need to go out to recess. This website is a perfect place to check to see if it's safe. If you live in our state and your school isn't already getting the recess alerts, I would ask them to sign up. If your state doesn't have this alert system, you are lucky because you have clean air!

So take a deep breathe and enjoy the air for us. Until then, I'll be staying indoors.

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