AQI for Ozone
|Color & Health Words||What To Do|
|GREEN is Good||Just enjoy the clean air!|
|YELLOW is Moderate||Air quality is fine for most people, including children like you. However, if you know you are extra sensitive to pollution, you might want to limit the time you spend playing outside.|
|ORANGE is Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups||People with lung disease, such as asthma, and active kids and grown-ups should limit how long or how hard they play or are active outside. Remember, it's important to think about how the air quality is making you feel! If you don't feel so great, take it a little easier.|
|RED is Unhealthy||People with lung disease, such as asthma, and active kids and grown-ups should not spend a long time playing or being active outdoors. Everybody else should limit how long they are active outside.|
|PURPLE is Very Unhealthy||People with lung disease, such as asthma, and active kids and grown-ups should not spend any time playing or being active outdoors. Everybody else should limit outdoor activities.|
|MAROON is Hazardous
(usually not shown)
|No one should play or be active outside.|
So if the AQI is orange, red, or worse, do I have to stay in all day?
No, you can go out and play. Outdoor exercise and play make your body stronger. It is just that when the AQI is orange or worse there is some risk that if you go outside and play, you may feel some of the health effects described here.
What is risk?
Risk is the chance that something bad will happen, and it is a normal part of everyday life. There are bigger risks and smaller risks. If you were to play on a busy street, your risk of being injured would be big. We can compare the risk from air pollution to other kinds of risk you know about, such as eating "junk food." Junk food is bad for kids, too, but most kids won't be hurt eating a little bit of it once in a while. Likewise, even though dirty air is bad for kids, most kids won't be hurt by playing outside, once in a while, when the air is dirty.
Often, you can lower the risk by being smart, for example by wearing a bike helmet when you ride your bike. To lower your risk from air pollution, you can play outdoors at the times of day when air pollution levels are lower. In the summer, this is often in the morning or in the evening. Another good way to lower your risk is by taking it easier if you do play outdoors when air pollution levels are high. Also, if you do play outside when the AQI is orange, red, or worse, pay attention to how you feel. Does your chest feel strange? Is it hard to breathe? Do you feel tired? If you can answer "yes" to any of those questions, stop playing outside, and tell your parents or teachers.