A kid-approved way to avoid toxic air — and keep lungs + brains healthy.
The walk to and from school is the most air-toxic time for kids. As much as 60% of the pollution they breathe in is from the school run and playground.
Toxic air can harm their lungs, damage the development of their brains and stunt their growth. More kids than ever now suffer from asthma.
Instead of waiting for the government to solve the problem (which is taking ages!), kids are coming to the rescue themselves!
By taking part in the Clean Air for Kids programme, kids are becoming Clean Air Experts. They have monitored pollution for themselves, and discovered that walking just one road back from a main road can mean up to 50% less toxic air exposure.
It’s a seriously simple solution:
(and a much nicer walk to and from school too!)
Using the kid’s own art, easy-to-follow Clean Air For Kids low pollution maps have been created for Stoke Newington and Bow. They show cleaner air roads in green, and high pollution roads in red, so the kids can choose low pollution routes to get around.
Leaflets are easily lost, but these beautiful maps are for keeps. Stick it to your fridge or on your school noticeboard…
• As much as 60% of a child’s pollution exposure comes from their walk to and from school and time in the playground.
• Children are shorter so they’re closer to exhaust tailpipes and breathe in even more pollution than adults.
• Pollution levels can be 9 to 12 times higher inside a car than outside on the pavement.
• Choose quiet routes rather than main roads. This alone can cut pollution exposure by up to 50%.
• If you need to take a main road, walk on the side of the pavement that’s furthest from the cars: it’s less polluted.
• Active travel: help improve local air quality by walking, cycling or taking public transport, rather than driving.
Thanks to all the wonderful year 4 and 5 pupils in Stoke Newington and Bow who have up produced many of the lovely drawings on these maps. Here is some of the artwork from their pollution and map classes.