Asthma: Precautions for Wildfire Smoke
If you or your child has asthma:
- Before wildfire season:
- Talk to your healthcare provider. Plan how you will protect yourself against wildfire smoke.
- Stock up on medicine. Store a 7 to 10-day supply of prescription medicines in a waterproof, childproof container to take with you if you evacuate.
- Buy groceries you won’t need to cook. Frying or grilling especially can make indoor air pollution worse.
- During a wildfire smoke event:
- Pay attention to air quality reportsexternal icon. Follow instructions about exercise and going outside for “sensitive individuals.”
- Follow you healthcare provider’s advice and your asthma action plan if you have one.
- Think about evacuating if you have trouble breathing or other symptoms that do not get better.
- After a wildfire:
- Do not return home until you are told it is safe to do so.
- Look out for any asthma symptoms. Contact your healthcare provider if you have trouble breathing, shortness of breath, cough that won’t stop, or other symptoms that do not go away. Call 9-1-1 or go right away to an emergency department for medical emergencies.
- Smoke can stay in the air days after wildfires have ended so continue to check local air quality.
Page last reviewed: May 29, 2019
Content source: National Center for Environmental Health