Health Advisory, Spare the Air Alert

In coordination with the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD), we continue to monitor the air quality situation that is affecting our community as a result of the devastating fires in northern Bay Area. Stanford Health Care and Stanford Children's Health Engineering and Maintenance staff are minimizing outdoor air and assessing ventilation. HEPA filters are being deployed based on prioritization and existing protocols.

If you are inside our patient care facilities, the air is filtered and there is no need for masking.
Symptoms such as itchy eyes, dry mouth, sore throat, and headache should be expected with these air quality conditions. If you are experiencing symptoms beyond these, please consult with your primary care physician or follow your normal emergency procedures. To help minimize the effects, please limit your outside activities, limit exertion and stay hydrated.

We appreciate everyone’s efforts and cooperation ensuring the safety of our patients, families and staff.

Keeping Kids Healthy When Air Quality is Poor

1. Know the air quality levels. Check the air quality in your area on the BAAQMD Current Air Quality page.

a. Green: safe for all kids to spend time outside running and playing.
b. Yellow: kids with asthma or other lung conditions should limit their exposure to outside air. If outside, children with asthma should have their rescue medications (albuterol) readily available.
c. Orange and Higher: all kids should limit their exposure, and kids with asthma should follow their action plans and have their rescue medication handy, plus wear a mask outside to help filter out any unsafe particles in the air.

2. Improve indoor air. Close windows and prevent outside air from circulating in your car. If your child has asthma or another lung condition, consider getting a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter. If you are using air conditioners, they should also have a HEPA filter. Keep your windows closed at night.

3. For the parents of athletes, while many practices and sporting events are being canceled, here are some important notes from our Stanford Children’s Health Sports Medicine experts:

• Athletes can breathe in 10-20x more air than a sedentary person during a given period of time, which means more exposure to smoky or polluted air.
• Given the current conditions throughout much of the Bay Area, where many communities even far from the North Bay can smell the smoke and see haze, our recommendation is to minimize outdoor activity. A couple days off is often better than training in poor conditions.