How to Stay Safe From Wildfire Smoke If You’re High Risk

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As we come to understand more about the changes happening on our planet, the presence of wildfires is becoming all too common. Along with the devastation that these natural disasters wreak on the environment, wildfire smoke is a serious concern for individuals who are high risk. If you are one of those individuals, it is essential to take some proactive steps so that you can stay safe from wildfire smoke. In this article, we will discuss what you need to know about this issue, and we will provide some helpful tips on how you can minimize your exposure to airborne smoke particles.

What Is Wildfire Smoke?

Wildfire smoke is essentially a mixture of tiny particles, gases, and chemicals that are released into the air when a wildfire occurs. These particles can include ash, particulate matter, and soot, all of which can cause a range of health issues for humans. The gases and chemicals that are released can include carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, and volatile organic compounds, all of which can be very dangerous for our health.

Who is At Risk?

Individuals who are high risk for health issues related to wildfire smoke include people who have been diagnosed with respiratory problems such as asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Elderly individuals and young children are also considered high risk groups due to the vulnerability of their respiratory systems. Pregnant women, people with heart disease, and individuals with weakened immune systems are also high risk.

Tips for Staying Safe From Wildfire Smoke

1. Monitor News and Information

One of the first things that you can do to stay safe from wildfire smoke is to monitor news and information in your area. If there is a wildfire happening in your area, stay up-to-date with the latest information from emergency services, and follow any evacuation orders if necessary.

2. Stay Indoors

During periods when wildfire smoke is present in your area, it is best to stay indoors as much as possible. Keep windows and doors closed, and use an air conditioning system or heater that has a filter to help purify the air. Avoid any activities that could bring more smoke into your home, such as burning candles or using a fireplace.

3. Use Masks and Respirators

If you need to go outside during periods of increased smoke, using a mask or respirator can help to filter out the harmful particles in the air. There are special masks and respirators designed for this purpose that are available at many drug stores and medical supply outlets. Make sure to choose a mask or respirator that is designed for wildfire smoke specifically.

4. Maintain Good Health Practices

The healthier you are, the better you’ll be able to handle any exposure to smoke particles. This means eating a healthy diet, getting regular exercise, and avoiding smoking tobacco or other substances. In addition, make sure to drink plenty of water to keep hydrated, as the air quality can worsen dehydration symptoms.

5. Seek Medical Attention if Necessary

If you or someone in your family is experiencing symptoms related to smoke exposure, seek medical attention immediately. Symptoms can include coughing, wheezing, chest tightness, shortness of breath, fatigue, and headaches.

In Conclusion

As the frequency and intensity of wildfires continue to increase, we must take steps to protect ourselves and our families from the harmful effects of wildfire smoke. By staying up-to-date on news and information, staying indoors as much as possible, using masks or respirators when necessary, maintaining good health practices, and seeking medical attention if necessary, we can reduce our risk of health issues related to smoke exposure. With proper planning and preparation, we can stay safe and healthy during these challenging times.