Last Reviewed September 2014
Sun safety | Hot and cold weather guidelines | Smog safety | West Nile Virus |
Air pollution or smog is a problem which can negatively affect children's health. Children are especially vulnerable to smog because they spend more time outdoors being physically active and they breathe faster than adults, taking in more air.
According to the Ontario Medical Association, 1,900 people in Ontario die prematurely each year due to smog. Short-term exposure to smog can cause and/or increase respiratory problems and nose, eye as well as throat irritation.
Visit Peel Public Health's Reduce Smog website for more information about smog. As a parent, you can take action to protect the health of children during a smog advisory.
How do I know that the air quality is poor?
- Sign up with the Ontario Ministry of the Environment's smog advisory e-mail system at: airqualityontario.com. When a smog watch or smog advisory is issued, you will automatically receive an e-mail.
- Call the Ministry of the Environment's Smog hotline at 1-800-387-7768 (or 416-246-0411 in Toronto).
- Listen to the media - radio, TV (e.g., the Weather Network).
During a smog advisory, Peel Public Health recommends the following:
- Reduce the amount of time children spend outdoors playing, working and exercising.
- Keep children indoors during peak rush hour times or around high traffic areas.
- Modify children's outdoor activities: shift from very active to light or moderate activities, reduce the length of time for the outdoor activity and take more rest breaks.
- Consider rescheduling vigorous outdoor events to another time when the smog advisory is over, or moving the activity indoors to a cool, well-ventilated place.
- To reduce exposure to smog, children with asthma and allergies should avoid being outside.
- See a doctor if your child experiences symptoms such as tightness in the chest, coughing and/or wheezing.
Since smog occurs year round, all of us should consider ways that we can help reduce smog every day. Most sources of smog come from burning fossil fuels to heat our homes and schools and to run our vehicles on the road.
For more information:
Region of Peel - Public Health
Monday to Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
to speak with a Public Health professional
Caledon residents call free of charge at 905-584-2216