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Air quality and kids playing outside

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
I like to spend as much time as possible outside, even in the winter. I walk almost everywhere I go and take my kids to play outside often. I can't find info about the safety of this with our current bad air quality. The only thing I can find is about exercising outdoors--which I assume means running, biking, etc. I'm pretty sure that just playing and walking, when we're not breathing hard, are not as bad.

Anybody know where I can find guidelines?

Do you stay inside when the air quality is bad? What is your cutoff air quality level for going outside?
post #2 of 5
Hmm, I know that the air quality measurements/assessments here are done by our county--the Pima County Department of Environmental Quality. They have a web site where you can look up info about air quality and find out what all of those numbers mean. They are also the ones who would issue the warnings on particularly bad days...

For me, thinking about indoor air quality is also a factor. Indoor air quality can be pretty bad, due to the use of toxic cleaners, offgassing furniture and carpets, etc. So there's a balancing act there, too.

I would think that your immediate air quality is going to be most affected by your local surroundings--- like, communities who live near waste transfer stations where big trucks are always coming and going have terrible air pollution and sickness problems--- but I don't know about the general air quality in an area and how to decide if it's safe or not! We are outside almost all the time--for my it's a sanity thing, because I really prefer it to being outside. And I've got to think that even if the air isn't perfect, it's healthier for me to be walking around than sitting inside?
post #3 of 5
Are you in northern Utah? I know the air has been really really bad here for a while. I think Salt Lake is finally down to yellow, but it was red last week.

I stay inside a lot when our air is bad, because I have asthma. If I go outside, it makes it worse really fast. I try to keep our air in the house as clean as possible, in regards to cleaners we use, and air filters etc.

We are actually considering moving out of Salt Lake because of the air. We like the outdoors too, but we are worried about what the air might do to DS. I was not born with asthma, I developed it from living here
post #4 of 5
Thread Starter 
sarah--thanks for the website. I want to get out every day for my sanity, too! But I feel bad if I might be endangering my kids...

Xavismom--yes, northern Utah. I'm glad things have cleared up a bit. I'm walking outside without worry this week. I've never before lived in a place with rotten air quality and I'm not getting used to it. We're a ways South of Salt Lake and I think it isn't quite as bad...but still.
post #5 of 5
My DH has lived here with me for 7 years now, and he still is not used to it. He says this is the worst air he's ever had to live with, and he's lived all over the world, literallly.

He was in Alaska right before he moved here, and the first few months he was in Salt Lake, he was really really sick. Said it was the air.
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