Flags and Kids' Health
“When it comes to air pollution, kids are more vulnerable than adults. The first step in protecting our kids is to stay informed about daily air quality levels. The EPA School Flag Program is an easy and reliable means of providing teachers, parents, and kids with daily air quality information. Flags also help teachers know when to modify outdoor activities as necessary to reduce students’ exposure to air pollution and protect health.” Ronni Flannery, American Lung Montana.
MTHPHC has partnered with the Montana Chapter of the Academy of Pediatrics to increase implementation of the EPA Air Quality Flag Program into MT schools and organizations. Exposure to air pollution is linked to increased frequency of asthma attacks, other respiratory conditions, and hospitalizations. Read more at Air Pollution: Current and Future Challenges.
The EPA School Flag Program helps communicate daily air quality conditions with colored flags that correspond to the EPA’s Air Quality Index. The Flag Program is an easy way to generate public awareness about outdoor air conditions. On days with poor air quality levels, participating organizations can use this information to guide decisions about outdoor activities to reduce exposure to air pollution and keep children safe. Read more at EPA’s Air Quality Flag Program Webpage.
With the help of health care providers, we are hopeful that outreach to schools and other youth-based organizations will allow us to expand the Flag Program in numerous locations throughout the state and provide air quality education to 2000-8000 children.
***How parents can help:*** If you know a great school nurse or science teacher or other staff member at any school in Montana that MIGHT be interested, please let us know at Mac.Nolde@montanahphc.org or 406-763-1006. If you know if a church, non-profit, business that might be interested, let us know that too!
Ekalaka School class w/Dr. Lori Byron
Quail Hollow Preschool, Bozeman MT