Bad air keeps some Valley students indoors

Pollution throughout the San Joaquin Valley has been in the unhealthy to very unhealthy range this week.
December 18, 2013 4:37:18 PM PST
Pollution throughout the San Joaquin Valley has been in the unhealthy to very unhealthy range this week. The air in Fresno was at a level five for fine particulate matter (PM), a type of air pollution which most commonly affects people's health.

Stagnant dirty air is forcing administrators to keep them indoors. It is also impacting student's athletic schedules.

Valley smog is obscuring the view of the sun in the Central Valley. What looks like fog settling in over the Valley is more of a smoky haze.

Anytime you can see the air we breathe you know it is a bad air day.

"We haven't seen air quality quite this bad in several years. There's a couple of factors that are in play right now. One has to do with we haven't any rain really so there's a lot of dust," Jaime Holt of the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District said.

The playground at Weldon Elementary in Clovis was empty Wednesday. Instead of running around outside kids had to stay inside the cafeteria as a health precaution.

Weldon Elementary Principal Ray Lozano kept the kids focused on fun with games played on an IPad. Tootsie rolls were handed out to the participants.

"It's just a way to get their minds off of being stuck inside. We want them to have some fun. Today we're paying some nice holiday music in the background; just make it a pleasant time for the kids," Lozano said.

Lozano said he checks the air pollution levels every hour and noticed they were still in the very unhealthy range. Outdoor sports like basketball have been cancelled until a breeze can clean the air. Bad air days are also a time to teach healthy lessons.

"And also reassure them that while it's a bad air day they're safe. We don't want kids to be scared. We're just cautious," Lozano said.

But not all kids get the "bad air" message, especially the little ones. A 1st grader told Mr. Lozano it shouldn't be a bad "hair" day because his grandma did a great job combing his hair just right.


Load Comments