Air Quality Concerns Require District to Consider the Health of Children

SPECIAL ADVISORY

Air quality concerns require District to consider the health of children As a result of the continuing poor air quality in the Kamloops region, School District No. 73 has decided to keep elementary school students indoors when the AQHI, as indicated by Environment Canada on its website, reaches 7 or higher. The website can be found here.

On the website, Health Canada indicates those with health or breathing problems should stay indoors when the AQHI reaches 7 or above. It also notes that “children should take it easy.” To ensure children do not engage in strenuous activities at unstructured times such as recess and lunch hours, the District has decided it is in the best interest of students to keep them inside.

The District recognizes that regular physical activity is an important part of the day for students. However, the risks associated with strenuous activity outdoors when the air quality is poor means the District must act to protect children.

This direction will not apply in the District’s secondary schools. Secondary school principals, teachers and students will be advised to follow the Health Canada guidelines, as specified on its website.

Lastly, the District recognizes that air quality is not measured in rural communities. Through the summer, air quality has proved to be much better in some rural communities than in Kamloops, which is situated in a low-elevation valley.

Principals in schools outside Kamloops will be advised to use their judgement and their senses to assess local air quality to the best of their ability. If in doubt, principals will also be asked to keep children indoors during unstructured play times.

For more information, call:
Robert Koopmans, Communications Manager
250) 374-0679

The full bulletin can be viewed here.