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Home Knowledge Center Wellness Library Child Safety: Air Pollution

Child Safety: Air Pollution

Overview

Children's lungs are especially sensitive to the harmful effects of air pollution. That's because they breathe faster than adults, which causes them to inhale a lot of pollution relative to their weight.

Use care when you take your young child outdoors, especially for physical activities. When children exercise, they breathe more heavily than normal. And they breathe more through their mouths than their noses. This allows pollution to be inhaled more deeply into the lungs where it can cause permanent damage.

  • Don't take your child out when the air quality index is 151 or above.

    This index is often reported in the news. You can also go to http://airnow.gov to find it.

    footnote 1
  • Go outside early in the morning in the summer and on days where smog may develop.

    On days when air is stagnant and temperatures reach over 90 °F (32 °C), smog levels usually peak in mid- to late afternoon.

  • Stay away from areas with heavy traffic.
References

References

Citations

  1. Environmental Protection Agency (2011). Air Quality Index (AQI): A guide to air quality and your health. Available online: http://airnow.gov/index.cfm?action=aqibasics.aqi.

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated, disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. Learn how we develop our content.

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Related Links

Environmental Illness Health and Safety, Birth to 2 Years Health and Safety, Ages 2 to 5 Years Healthy Habits for Kids

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