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posted by: LIT First Aid on: August 21, 2021

Image via Mike Benna


With wildfires blazing across the country, many towns, cities, and provinces have issued air quality alerts, notifying residents that the air quality is poorer than usual due to the smoke. Generally, advisories are issued to inform people about degraded air quality, inspire residents to take effective emission reduction actions, encourage people to reduce their exposure to the air, and finally, to provide vulnerable individuals with health advice. Below, we’ve compiled a list of tips for what to do during an air quality alert. 


Limit Time Outdoors

First and foremost, limit the time spent outdoors. Poor air quality typically means less visibility, as well as harmful pollutants. Both of these factors make going outside far more dangerous than normal. Stay safe by remaining indoors until the air clears. If you must go outdoors, limit intense exercise (i.e. avoid going for a run or bike ride) and wear a mask (more on that below). 


Keep Windows Closed

The goal is to keep air pollution out of your home. The best way to do that? Keeping all windows closed. Though you may be tempted to open them during the summertime, if the region in which you live is experiencing poor air quality, the healthiest and safest option is to shut your windows.


Wear A Mask 

Thanks to COVID-19, face masks have become the norm. But they’re good for more than just preventing the spread of the coronavirus. During an air quality advisory, the air may be filled with harmful chemical pollutants. To protect yourself (and your respiratory system), wear a mask at all times when outdoors. 


Drive Slowly

Finally, if you must drive in poor air quality, then drive slowly. When smog sets in, visibility can be significantly diminished. You may only be able to see a few metres in front of your car, which means caution is key. However, ideally, keep driving to a minimum during a poor air quality advisory. 


Poor air quality advisories can be nerve-racking, especially when you’re not used to them. In order to stay safe and healthy, follow the tips above until the advisory has lifted. Another great way to stay safe this summer is by learning basic first aid. Sign up for the L.I.T. First Aid and Lifeguard Training courses to learn important first aid skills and CPR that could save your life.

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