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Some summer day camp activities cancelled due to poor air quality

A haze over Metro Vancouver on Aug. 13, 2018 (Hana Mae Nassar, NEWS 1130 Photo)

Community centres have been making changes to their programs to keep kids from breathing in bad air

Cancelled activities disappointing for kids, but essential to their health, says Vancouver Park Board staff

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – That big outing for your kids’ day camp may be cancelled.

An Air Quality Advisory remains in effect across the Lower Mainland. The very young are among those who should avoid strenuous activity outdoors.

Donnie Rosa, director of recreation for the Vancouver Park Board said community centres have been making changes to their programs to keep kids from breathing in the bad air.

“Wherever possible, we’re moving them indoors. In lots of cases, we have gymnasium space and large room space.”

She said it’s disappointing for the kids, “but anything that needed to be cancelled is cancelled. We’re making sure that we are not exposing the kids to this air quality any longer than [needed].”

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Rosa wasn’t able to share the parents’ reaction, as many of the changes are just coming into effect.

“In my experience, in the past… parents were grateful that we were keeping their kids inside. Everybody wants their kids outside, but not on a day like today.”

She said there often simple adjustments to the existing schedule to help protect the kids. “Instead of doing high-impact or high-level activities outdoors — like running, playing a soccer game, something like that — they may be outside just to do a quick walk, and then back inside.”

Staff are keeping a particularly close eye on kids with respiratory issues.

“If anybody has any respiratory conditions or asthma, we’re bringing them inside,” said Rosa. She noted that applies to the kids and staff.

Rosa added parents will be refunded for activities that don’t go ahead.