Air Quality Index for Kids - Parents Reference Page

Parent's Material

Why should children learn about air quality?

Children are among the group of people who most often feel the impact of air pollution. Their bodies are still growing and they often play outside where the pollution levels can be high. This Clean Air website explains the Air Quality Index (AQI) to children at the kindergarten through first grade level. By using AQI colors, this website shows how your child can moderate their activity to safely play outside when air pollution levels are elevated. Enjoy this website with your child. Then play the games together to reinforce to air quality messages.

When your child is older, please move on to the AQI Kids page, which is intended for children between the ages of 7-10. Read the information together and then play the chameleon games.

What is the Air Quality Index (AQI)?

The AQI is an index for reporting daily air quality. It indicates how clean or polluted your air is, and what associated health concerns you should be aware of. The AQI focuses on health effects that can happen within a few hours or days after breathing polluted air. EPA has assigned a specific color to each AQI category to make it easier for people to understand quickly the significance of air pollution levels in their communities. For example, the color orange means that conditions are "unhealthy for sensitive groups"; the color red means that conditions may be "unhealthy" for everyone, and so on.

AQI Numbers Colors Levels of health concern
0 to 50 Green Good
51 to 100 Yellow Moderate
101 to 150 Orange Unhealthy for sensitive groups
151 to 200 Red Unhealthy
201 to 300 Purple Very unhealthy
301 to 500 Maroon
(usually not shown)

Note: Values above 500 are considered Beyond the AQI. Follow recommendations for the Hazardous category. Additional information on reducing exposure to extremely high levels of particle pollution is available here.


How can I find the air quality in my community?

State and local air quality forecasts and real-time ozone maps are available from AirNow. Many newspapers and TV news reports refer to the AQI, especially during periods when it is advisable to take precautions due to high

How can I learn more about the AQI?

Please read Air Quality Index - A Guide to Air Quality and Your Health for an explanation.

Air Quality Links

Other Kids Sites from the EPA

Other Kids Sites