We all want our children to be safe. But often, the air in their school is a "D" student. Air pollution in the classroom affects how children learn, and can harm their growing lungs. And when you think about how much time kids spend at school, cleaning up that air becomes an important assignment! Notebooks and pencils ready?

If you missed our last class on indoor air pollution and where it comes from, you can study up with our blog on indoor air pollution. Class will resume when you're caught up.

Unlike at home, where it can be fairly easy to directly address air quality problems, at school, you can't go it alone. You will need to work with school faculty and staff and even your school district. The good news is, we can help because the Lung Association has been a leader in developing tools to help make schools lung-friendly for decades. Here are four ways you can help improve the air quality in your child's school:

  1. Know if there's a problem: Are you concerned about the quality of air in your local school? Learn the signs and symptoms that can indicate unhealthy air. Learn how to identify problems and solutions and find out what to do if an indoor air emergency occurs.
  2. Adopt indoor air quality programs: Encourage school administrators and facilities managers to take steps that make sure their school has clean air indoors. They can adopt tools used by schools across the nation. Learn about the tools they use that can help your local school keep the air healthy for your children.
  3. Make school property tobacco-free: Sensing a theme here? Just like at home and work, tobacco-free is the way to be! Schools grounds, facilities, vehicles and sponsored events should all be tobacco-free. Smoking cessation services should be provided for students and staff. Our Asthma-Friendly Schools Initiative has more details. 
  4. End school bus idling: What's outside can get inside. That's why adopting a bus anti-idling policy is important. Exhaust fumes from idling buses make their way indoors and endanger the health of everyone inside. School policies that limit school bus idling can cut the pollution coming indoors, while also saving money on fuel. For more information, go to the National Idle-Reduction Campaign, a part of the EPA's Clean School Bus USA program.

Class Dismissed

School's out, so where are you off to now? You deserve to breathe healthy indoor air wherever you are. Our blogs on healthy air at home and at work can help. 

Keeping our indoor air clean and healthy is just part of keeping your lungs healthy. The American Lung Association works for healthy air and healthy lungs every day. But we can't do it without your help! Join us and we can all breathe easier, indoors and out.

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