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Our Health Library information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Please be advised that this information is made available to assist our patients to learn more about their health. Our providers may not see and/or treat all topics found herein.

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 is unhealthy.

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

  • 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.

Credits

Current as of: July 21, 2022

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
John Pope MD - Pediatrics
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine