A Blog From Your Kaiser Permanente Physicians

Protect Your Child from Wildfire Smoke

Wildfires continue to burn in several Northern California counties. We know this may be a difficult time for you and your family, and we’re here to help.

Here are some ways to protect your entire family’s health from poor air quality:

  • Stay indoors as much as possible, with doors and windows closed.
  • Use an air-conditioner set on recirculate or an air purifier with a HEPA filter.
  • Limit your time outdoors.
  • Wear a properly fitted mask to filter air contaminants if you must be outside. Masks can be a breathing risk for babies and young children

If your child has asthma, smoke can make symptoms worse or cause a flare up:

  • Watch your child for asthma symptoms, such as wheezing, shortness of breath, or difficulty breathing.
  • Follow your child’s asthma action plan. Continue to use daily asthma (control) and any recommended allergy medicines.

How to manage an asthma flare up:

  • Try not to panic. Quick treatment at home may help prevent serious breathing problems.
  • Help your child take their asthma and wheezing medicines. including your quick-relief inhaler (albuterol) or steroid pills.

Contact your doctor if:

  • Your child’s symptoms do not improve or get worse after your usual home treatment.
  • You have questions about managing your child’s asthma.
  • You’re out of medicine and need an urgent refill.

Kaiser Permanente members in Northern California can reach our 24/7 Appointment or Advice line at 866.454.8855.

Stay healthy. From your Kaiser Permanente pediatricians.

For more information, go to:

To learn more about how to protect yourself from wildfire smoke, go to: kpdoc.org/smokeexposure
To learn more about reducing exposure to ash when returning home after a fire, visit: California Department of Public Health

This article was previously posted on October 9, 2017.

Disclaimer: If you have an emergency medical condition, call 911 or go to the nearest hospital. An emergency medical condition is any of the following: (1) a medical condition that manifests itself by acute symptoms of sufficient severity (including severe pain) such that you could reasonably expect the absence of immediate medical attention to result in serious jeopardy to your health or body functions or organs; (2) active labor when there isn't enough time for safe transfer to a Plan hospital (or designated hospital) before delivery, or if transfer poses a threat to your (or your unborn child's) health and safety, or (3) a mental disorder that manifests itself by acute symptoms of sufficient severity such that either you are an immediate danger to yourself or others, or you are not immediately able to provide for, or use, food, shelter, or clothing, due to the mental disorder. This information is not intended to diagnose health problems or to take the place of specific medical advice or care you receive from your physician or other health care professional. If you have persistent health problems, or if you have additional questions, please consult with your doctor. If you have questions or need more information about your medication, please speak to your pharmacist. Kaiser Permanente does not endorse the medications or products mentioned. Any trade names listed are for easy identification only.