Siskin limiting outdoor play because of wildfire smoke in area
CHATTANOOGA (Tenn.) —
The kids at Siskin Children's Institute, like many other schools, haven't played outside as much this week.
With smoke in the air, it's too big a risk, according to Education Coordinator, Julie Mickel.
"If they're outside playing, they can be affected and adults don't even realize they're impacted by it. So we need to take these considerations daily," she says.
All of Monday and Tuesday morning, children weren't allowed on the playground at all because of smoke blowing off the mountains affected by wildfires.
Thursday, a welcomed break from the smoke allowed playtime outside, but the concern remained because some of the children with special needs are more susceptible to respiratory problems.
A few of them have a tracheostomy, a hole in the neck to help them breathe.
For them, smoke becomes that much more dangerous.
"With this poor air quality, they are more susceptible to be at risk, so we have to look at the weather for that," says Mickel.
Some students in classrooms with windows have been moved to the interior, keeping them from breathing in any smoke that might find its way into the building.
Until the wildfires are extinguished and the threat is gone completely, Mickel says they're finding other ways to keep children moving.
"They can still run and jump and dance, because we still want them to be active," she says.
Mickel says they're checking the air quality multiple times a day.