Air Quality FAQs for Patients & Families

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You might be feeling anxious about the poor air quality in our region. While this problem is real, it does not mean that there is nothing we can do to help keep our family safe.

Who is most at risk of having symptoms when pollution is in the air?

  • People with asthma, heart, or lung conditions
  • Small children and older adults (with or without other health conditions)
  • People who are pregnant

*When air quality is at its worst, anyone can be affected (guidance regarding air quality index in your area, can be given by your local weather station).

Should we stay inside?

If you or your child has asthma or a condition that impacts their lungs, try to stay indoors much as possible when air quality is bad. Consider sending a note to the school to have your child stay in from recess, too. Exercise is important, but heavy outdoor exercise that causes deep breathing should be avoided on days with bad air quality. This doesn’t only apply to your child but also applies to your entire family.

What else should I do if my child has asthma or other lung condition?

Make sure your child’s medicines are up-to-date and monitor your child for symptoms. Look for coughing or wheezing. If your child has an escalation plan, put it into action when it is needed.

Should we wear masks?

It may be helpful for you to wear N95 or KN95 masks when you are outdoors.

I have more questions, who should I call?

CHOP is home to our region’s Poison Control Center, which is staffed 24/7 by nurses and pharmacists. Calling the Poison Control Center is always free, and no question is too small to ask. You can reach the Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222. You can also reach out to your child’s care team with more detailed questions.

If you develop a lingering cough, contact your primary care provider. If you are having trouble breathing, call 911.

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