Pediatrician: Keep kids inside in smoky conditions

Smokey skies outside of fire zone in Bay Area 

Some Bay Area parents outside the wine country fire zone have reached out to KTVU with questions about the smoky conditions. 

KTVU checked in with Dr. Genevieve Palmer who practices at John Muir Health. 

Dr. Palmer said to keep kids and babies inside in smoky conditions whenever possible. She said if you can see and smell the smoke, it's best to stay indoors. 

Even healthy kids can be affected by coughs, wheezing, shortness of breath and itchy eyes. The same goes for adults.

"I don't think kids need to stay away from school, but if they can they should avoid extra activities, including sports whenever possible," said Dr. Palmer.  At this point, she doesn't see the need for face masks unless someone needs to stay outside for hours. 

She said the smoke can make underlying symptoms like allergies or asthma worse. 

Dr. Palmer says several days of smoke from the fires shouldn't cause any long term health problems. She said long term damage to the lungs wouldn't occur unless the smoky conditions were an ongoing issue. 

She urges parents to stay inside and keep  windows at home closed. She adds air conditioners can help filter out the air. 

If someone is experiencing symptoms from the smoke they should seek medical help. Dr. Palmer says there are medicines that help open the lungs. In a very extreme case someone could be given oxygen. 

Read more about the air quality conditions here.