Idling cars at schools increase respiratory health risks for children

PARK CITY, Utah — With kids returning to school this week in Park City and the rest of Summit County, it’s unavoidable that parents will be waiting in their vehicles while dropping off or picking up their kids. The U.S. Office of Energy Development (OED) is reminding parents of the health risks and problems with idling vehicles.

According to the OED, idling vehicles not only waste fuel, but also produce smog and greenhouse gas emissions. Air pollution is particularly harmful to children as they are more susceptible. Children have a higher respiration rate than adults, leading to a higher risk of lung disorders such as asthma.

Lungs are developing until age 18, and it is possible for excessive exhaust and smoke exposure to stunt the growth of children’s lungs.

The Clean Cities coalitions, supported by the Department of Energy’s Vehicle Technologies Program, provide an IdleBox Toolkit where free online education and outreach resources are available for anyone wanting to start their own idle education campaign. There are also Clean Cities Coordinators spread throughout the country that can help in this pursuit.

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