The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has issued an air quality advisory for the entire state of Wisconsin through Friday, June 30, at noon. The ongoing issues pose trouble for those with a diagnosis like asthma, therefore Kenosha County Public Health is urging eligible residents to take advantage of the Asthma-Safe Homes Program.
This program provides free self-management education and home environmental walkthroughs to Medicaid-eligible children between the ages of 2 and 18 years old, along with pregnant women with poorly controlled asthma.
“This program is a valuable resource that we’re fortunate to be able to offer to families that are struggling with asthma,” said Lori Plahmer, Kenosha County interim health officer. “With the poor air conditions that we’ve been experiencing recently, we’d like to make sure the community is aware of this opportunity.”
The program, available from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, is open to residents of Kenosha, Racine and Walworth counties.
Protect yourself from unhealthy air
Plahmer explained that the goal of the program is to reduce missed school or workdays, urgent care, emergency department visits and hospitalizations due to asthma.
Given the current poor air quality, those with asthma may feel an increase in symptoms or severity, hence the importance of controlling the condition.
Incentives for those with Asthma
Upon completion of the program, participants are given up to $1,000 worth of asthma-friendly cleaning supplies and other household goods. Additionally, this includes an asthma-friendly cleaning kit, a new vacuum cleaner and an air purifier.
What is asthma caused by?
The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America describes asthma as “inflamed airways which are sensitive to things that may not bother other people.”
Asthma triggers include:
- air pollution
- airborne irritants
- respiratory infections
- exercise/physical activity
- air temperature
- strong emotions
- some medicines
The following tips provided by the American Lung Association can help protect you and your loved ones from unhealthy air:
- Check daily air pollution forecasts.
- Visit Racine County Eye for the latest updates.
- Monitor the air quality online.
- Use the statewide air monitoring network – Wisconsin Data Map to determine the severity in your area.
- Avoid exercising outdoors when pollution levels are high.
- When the air quality is bad, walk indoors in a shopping mall or gym or use an exercise machine.
- Limit the amount of time your child spends playing outdoors if the air quality is unhealthy.
- Always avoid exercising near high-traffic areas.
- When air quality forecasts are good, vehicles on busy highways can create high pollution levels up to one-third of a mile away.
- Don’t burn wood or trash.
- Burning firewood and trash are among the major sources of particle pollution (soot) in many parts of the country.
- Use hand-powered or electric lawn care equipment rather than gasoline-powered.
- Old two-stroke engines like lawnmowers and leaf or snow blowers often have no pollution control devices. They can pollute the air even more than cars, though engines sold since 2011 are cleaner.
- Don’t allow anyone to smoke indoors and support measures to make public places tobacco-free.
The wildfires in Canada
For all of the latest information on the wildfires ravaging Canada, check out our Canadian Wildfire 2023 Impact landing page. There you will find all of our air quality updates, health tips and more.
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