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Protecting Children from Wildfire Smoke

Children are particularly sensitive to air pollution for a number of reasons: Their lungs are still developing, their airways are smaller, and pound for pound they need more oxygen than adults. Children with asthma or other respiratory ailments are even more sensitive to air pollution.

If you’re a parent or teacher who wants to help children enjoy the great outdoors this summer, bookmark this handy guide from the Oregon Health Authority. The guide – Public Health Guidance for School Outdoor Activities During Wildfire Events -- includes a handy chart that spells out when precautions should be taken based on the color-coded air quality index.

Quick question: If the forecast is orange should all children limit outdoor activities or just those in sensitive groups? If you’re not sure that’s OK. That’s what the guide is for. Print it out and put it on your refrigerator or bulletin board.

The guide also breaks down what precautions should be taken based on how long children are outside from a 15-minute recess to hours-long athletic practices.

Check out these recommendations from Oregon Health Authority for more information on how air quality can affect you and your children’s health.