Home Children and Young People Let’s protect our children’s health this #CleanAirDay

Let’s protect our children’s health this #CleanAirDay

by Sandra Issar

Knowsley Council is supporting Clean Air Day on 17 June, the annual campaign to improve our understanding of air pollution and raise awareness of how it can impact our health. The theme for 2021 is ‘protect our children’s health from air pollution’.

Children are particularly vulnerable to the impacts of air pollution as it can affect their health and also their ability to learn. As we recover from the pandemic, it gives us a unique opportunity to create a clean air environment where children can learn and play safely.

What can you do to help reduce air pollution?

While air pollution is a major health issue, there are simple things that we can all do to make ourselves, our family and others safer.

Top three actions:

  • Walk, cycle and scoot more, especially using the back roads away from polluting traffic.
  • If you do have to drive, switch your engine off when you’re stationary, and try to choose electric vehicles where you can.
  • Avoid unnecessary burning – and use ready to burn materials whenever you burn, especially if you rely on wood for your heating.

More information and ideas on things you can do to reduce air pollution are available on the Clean Air Hub.

What is Knowsley Council doing?

Knowsley Council is working with schools across the borough to encourage children, families and staff to leave the car at home and walk, cycle or scoot to school on 17 June – and beyond.

Many schools will have special assemblies and lessons dedicated to educating pupils about air pollution, with resources and support from the council’s Environmental Health Team.

The council is asking taxi companies to inform their drivers about Clean Air Day and remind them to switch off engines when their vehicle is stationary. While businesses are being asked to support the day by making a Clean Air Day pledge addressing their impact on air quality.

In January last year, the council declared a Climate Emergency. It made a commitment to develop an action plan, with the aim of achieving net zero carbon emissions from the council’s estate and services by 2040. In November 2020, the Climate Emergency Action Plan for the council’s estates and services was approved and improved air quality will be one of its outcomes.

Cllr Shelley Powell, Knowsley Council Cabinet Member for Communities and Neighbourhoods, said:

I’m delighted to be supporting Clean Air Day and highlighting the simple actions we can all do to make ourselves, our family and others safer. Opting to leave the car at home and walk or cycle to school or work instead is probably one of the easiest ways we can all do our bit to cut air pollution.

 

“As a council we are committed to reducing emissions from our own building and services to net Zero by 2040 and improving local air quality will be one of the positives to come about as a result of this action.”

To get involved in clean air day and learn more about how air pollution could be affecting you and your family’s health, visit cleanairday.org.uk or search #CleanAirDay.