Quiz on mums, sport and air pollution
This blog post is by Nicola Baird sharing ideas about thrifty, creative and eco-friendly ways to raise children. One out of 11 UK children have asthma. So what can a mum do to tackle air pollution indoors and out? Try this QUIZ and see how you do. For more info about parenting see my book Homemade Kids, or for my website click here.
If you need a reminder of what asthma does to kids, and how air quality effects children’s health see this older blog post and 10-year-old Nell’s video here.
Try this QUIZ – only 13 questions…
1 Indoor air pollution is increased by chemical fumes released from carpets, wallpaper, paint, fire-resistant materials and gas cookers. All build up in a well-insulated house. TIP: When you redecorate choose VOC-free (or low VOC) paints and glues which are easy to find in DIY stores (just look on the tin’s label).
[ ] a My house is drafty so I guess the pollution can drift off outside
[ ] b I rent and can’t redecorate – not my problem
[ ] c You mean volatile organic compounds? They’re on the naughty step.
2 Avoid anything made from MDF. TIP: Don’t put MDF shelves (or any glue mix material including plywood) above a radiator.
[ ] a Easier said than done. The kitchen’s MDF duh.
[ ] b Didn’t I tell you that I rent and can’t organise a kitchen refit?
[ ] c Does it tell me this at Ikea?
3 If you live and drive in a town or city use a petrol-fuelled car (or car club vehicle). TIP: Diesel isn’t as clean a fuel choice because the particulates released as you drive can trigger asthma attacks.
[ ] a Look I’ve got a diesel car and I’m not changing it. For anyone.
[ ] b I don’t remember this conversation at Car Supermarket.
[ ] c OMG what do paticulates do?
4 Obviously don’t drive as much – because all traffic pollutes. TIP: Aim to walk your children to school as many days as you can.
[ ] a You are one crazy lady. The roads aren’t safe enough for me to let my kids walk or cycle to school.
[ ] b Not got the time, sorry.
[ ] c Oh no, not blaming the school run again?
5 Teach your children road safety and look out for cycle training courses run for children, see http://www.dft.gov.uk/bikeability/
[ ] a You really are one crazy lady. See above.
[ ] b Don’t they teach this stuff at school?
[ ] c Not a bad plan.
6 Have a boy. TIP: Girls are more likely than boys to develop asthma by the time they are 18.
[ ] a Do you know how much IVF costs?
[ ] b What would Caitlin Moran say if I told her this?
[ ] c I’ve got daughters already, thank you very much.
7 Don’t live in the UK. Out of 56 countries the UK has more 13-14 year olds with asthma. TIP: You can get help from your GP and at http://www.asthma.org.uk
[ ] a How I long for the old days when mums just worried about OFSTED and SATs.
[ ] b Great, just the excuse I need to move again.
[ ] c How will I cope with a mardy teen miserable about getting asthma?
8 Everyone with asthma is at risk of a wheeze attack when there is a spike in air quality. TIP: This isn’t just a western world problem – New Delhi is notoriously polluted and 16 out of 20 of the world’s worst polluted cities are said to be in China.
[ ] a This is just another reason to hate fog.
[ ] b Get it. Will cancel the trip to the Great Wall of China.
[ ] c I’m going to bookmark an air pollution app. Is there such a thing?
[ ] a Why is purple the danger sign? Shouldn’t it be red?
[ ] b At last I can use my screen grab to good purpose
[ ] c I’ve looked at the map, and it’s pretty bad everywhere.
10 Playing sport in the afternoon isn’t always wise – it can be a wheezy time if there’s high air pollution. It’s also the time when ozone levels are highest (which reduce lung function). Add to that pollen and it’s a recipe for those with dodgy chests (eg, asthma sufferers) to start wheezing. TIP: Avoid strenuous activity then, and learn to keep your medication close.
[ ] a Isn’t the Olympics held in the afternoon?
[ ] b Just the excuse I needed to avoid it, thank you.
[ ] c Is that why I keep hearing about sports people collapsing?
11 Good air quality is a right. Children competing in areas with poor air quality are much more likely to develop asthma than non-athletic children. http://www.sirc.ca/newsletters/june09/documents/S-967310.pdf
[ ] a What a load of lefty bananas.
[ ] b So tell me, are the London Youth Games at Crystal Palace in an area with poor air quality or good air quality?
[ ] c I’m starting to feel extremely worried.
12. When you’re not in a car use quieter, less congested roads and paths – even if it means a bit of a detour.
[ ] a Haha.
[ ] b Great excuse to wear my new blue suede trainers
[ ] c Do it already. Yes!
13 Don’t do what London Mayor Boris Johnson has done on super-polluted Marylebone Road and spray glue around in the hope that air pollution will be stuck together then disappear. It doesn’t work.
[ ] a Actually Spandex pants aren’t that great either.
[ ] b That’s a joke isn’t it?
[ ] c That’s it, I’m telling my councillors to do something in my local area.
Over to you – add what you got to the comment box. And thanks for joining in. Lots more info at http://www.cleanairinlondon.org/
Mostly As – I know what I’m getting you for your birthday, personalised number plates
Mostly Bs – Perhaps you’ve got your head a little bit in the inhaler? Works better than sand though.
Mostly Cs – well done, you could help tackle this.