Now is the time to prepare for Wildfire and Smoke Season.
WFIS was asked by the Child Care Health Program of King County to share the following information with all of our early learning programs. Because Everyone is affected by wildfire smoke, we are posting this for all educators.
1. Know which children and staff have asthma or other chronic illnesses. People with chronic illness or medical conditions (such as asthma) are at greater risk of health issues when exposed to wildfire smoke.
- Check to make sure asthma medication(s) are in the Grab ’n Go Bag and are not expired.
- Make sure that children who have asthma, or other respiratory conditions, have an asthma care plan appropriate for child cares that is up to date and complete. On Page 2 of the care plan, parents/guardians can indicate which allergens/irritants trigger their child’s asthma, including “Smoke” and “Weather and Air Pollution”.
2. Outdoor activities: Check the local air quality throughout the day when there are wildfires to see if outdoor activities are appropriate. Below is a diagram that provides recommendations for various outdoor activities based on the air quality conditions. Another great resource with an easy-to-read diagram that shows the safety of different activities is Puget Sound Clean Air Agency, WA | Official Website (pscleanair.gov).
3. Wildfire smoke during COVID-19: During Covid-19 the recommendation has been to keep windows and doors open for ventilation. However, when there is wildfire smoke it is important to keep windows and doors to the outside closed, and instead, use air purifiers, HVAC systems, or box fans with air filters to clean and/or cool the indoor air. See this video for a How To on making a box fan with an air filter; you should use MERV 13 or higher or FPR 10 rating filters which can filter smoke particles.
Find the diagram above at: Air Pollution and School Activities – Public Health Recommendations for Schools (wa.gov)
Visit Wildfire smoke – King County for
- Poster and Flyers
- Recommendations to protect your health on smoky days
- Preparation recommendations for wildfire smoke season
- Information on masks and wildfire smoke