For several consecutive days this year, Seattle was ranked among the top major cities with the worst air quality in the world, according to data compiled by IQAir.
As the smoky air covered large portions of Western Washington due to weeks of wildfires, many parents wondered what they could do to keep their kids protected.
Breathing in wildfire smoke is unhealthy for everyone, however children are at extra risk for negative health effects. Infants and children under age 18, whose lungs and airways are still developing, breathe more air per pound of body weight compared to adults.
Dr. Jonathan Cogen, an attending physician in Seattle Children’s Division of Pulmonary and Sleep Medicine, spoke with KUOW’s Soundside to share key safety measures families can take to stay as healthy as possible during poor air quality conditions.
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One of the 12 overnight sleep study suites at Seattle Children’s new Sleep Center
Studies consistently show that up to 50% of children experience a sleep problem at least a few nights each week. While the most recognized consequence of inadequate sleep is daytime sleepiness, children commonly manifest their sleepiness as irritability, behavioral problems, learning difficulties and poor academic performance.
Some sleep disruptions are normal and are connected to age-related changes. Others are symptoms of an actual sleep disorder. Whatever the reason, sleep problems can affect the entire family and should be accurately diagnosed.
In this Q&A, Dr. Maida Chen, director of Seattle Children’s Pediatric Sleep Disorders Center and associate professor of pediatrics at the University of Washington, shares details on Seattle Children’s expanding Sleep Medicine Program.
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