Font Size
A
A
A

Child Safety: Air Pollution


Topic Overview

Smog and particulate matter (such as pollen, soot, and dust) are examples of air pollution. Children's lungs are especially sensitive to the harmful effects of air pollution because they breathe rapidly and inhale a high concentration of pollution relative to their weight.

Use care when taking your young child outdoors, especially for physical activities. When children exercise, they breathe more heavily than normal. Also, 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.

  • Do not take your child out when the air quality index is 151 or above. This index is often reported in the news. You can also find it at http://airnow.gov.
  • Go outside early in the morning in the summer and on days where smog may develop. On days that air is stagnant and temperatures reach over 90 A?F (32 A?C), smog levels usually peak in mid-to-late afternoon.
  • Stay away from areas with heavy traffic.

For more information, see the topic Environmental Illness.

Related Information

Credits

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerSusan C. Kim, MD - Pediatrics
Specialist Medical ReviewerThomas Emmett Francoeur, MD, MDCM, CSPQ, FRCPC - Pediatrics
Last RevisedNovember 30, 2010

eMedicineHealth Medical Reference from Healthwise

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise 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. How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.

To learn more visit Healthwise.org

© 1995-2012 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.





Medical Dictionary