The peak of summer is here which means wildfires for many states and countries. This can put a damper on summer plans for those with asthma and other respiratory or health conditions.

Colorado is normally at high risk for fires throughout the summer. Currently, the California and Washington wildfires are causing particles to spread into Colorado air. This is causing an ‘unhealthy for sensitive groups’ air quality alert. When the air quality is unhealthy, it is important for infants, elderly and those with health problems to stay indoors.

If smoke builds up in your neighborhood, avoid going outside. If visibility is less than five miles, remain indoors. This means air quality is unhealthy. If you must leave the house, make sure to always have your rescue inhaler or any other necessary medication with you.

Another issue during the summer is ground-level ozone which is air pollution caused by paints, vehicle exhaust, degreasing agents and cleaning fluids mixed with sunlight. All of these are triggers for asthma attacks. To avoid any asthma problems, make sure to do the following things:

  • Make sure all cleaning and paint products are sealed tight
  • If you plan to paint your house, schedule it for the spring or fall when the heat is mild
  • Do not mow your lawn too often
  • Use environmental friendly lawn tools that do not require a lot of gas
  • When fueling your car, go in the evening and do not continue pumping after the pump clicks.

If you have any respiratory or heart issues, keep heavy exertion to a minimum. Try to exercise indoors and keep windows and doors closed until after the air quality alert is lifted. For more information on Colorado air quality, visit http://www.colorado.gov/airquality/advisory.aspx. If you are concerned about respiratory issues, contact your physician!