Car idling is a big concern for air quality, and one place that is notorious for lots of idling engines is your local school. When dropping off or picking up children from school, it’s important to be aware of your idling habits. Turning off your car engine while stopped helps improve the air quality by reducing the amount of ozone-forming emissions and other pollutants.
- Idling is bad for students with asthma. According to Children’s Mercy Hospital, one in 10 people is affected by asthma, including more than 28,500 children in the Kansas City area. Less idling means fewer vehicle emissions and particles that contribute to air pollution, making the air safer for everyone to breathe. Take a look at this checklist to determine if your school is asthma-friendly.
- Parent organizations can be drivers of change. PTAs, PTOs or School Advisory Councils can encourage schools to implement Idle Free Zones. MARC provides schools with signs to place along pick-up and drop-off areas and parking lots as a helpful reminder to parents and visitors that your school is committed to preventing increased emissions and protecting air quality. Contact a MARC Air Quality staff member if you would like a presentation about air quality at your next PTA meeting.
- Watch D.O.G.S. can watch out! Does your school have a Watch D.O.G.S. (Dads of Great Students) or other parent volunteer program? These volunteers can help improve air quality by asking parents to turn off their engines during drop-off and pick-up times. You are also a critical role model, so practice healthy air habits like not idling and speak up for your student’s health!