Child Safety: Air Pollution

Search Knowledgebase

Topic Contents

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.

  • When air quality is poor, check Environment Canada's website at www.ec.gc.ca.
  • 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 32°C (90°F), smog levels usually peak in mid-to-late afternoon.
  • Stay away from areas with heavy traffic.

For more information, see the topic Environmental Illness.

Credits

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Susan C. Kim, MD - Pediatrics
Primary Medical Reviewer Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Thomas Emmett Francoeur, MD, MDCM, CSPQ, FRCPC - Pediatrics
Last Revised February 3, 2011

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.