Child care providers are always thinking about the health and safety of the children in their care. One critical issue to be aware of is the outdoor air quality in your area. Outdoor air quality issues can affect a child care program, including the ability to safely take children outside to play every day.
What can I do to protect children from poor air quality during wildfires?
The American Lung Association offers some general recommendations to help avoid breathing and exposure to wildfire smoke. Many of these recommendations can be used by child care providers to help keep children safe during a wildfire.
- Stay indoors, unless prompted by local officials to evacuate.
- Do not rely on a dust mask to filter out the smaller particles in wildfire smoke.
- Take extra precautions for children because they are more susceptible to smoke.
- Protect the air inside.
- Keep doors and windows closed.
- Use air conditioners on the recirculation setting.
- Use an air cleaning device with a HEPA filter.
- Place damp towels under the doors and other places where outside air may leak in.
- Do not exercise outdoors, especially if you smell smoke or notice eye or throat irritation.