LETTER: ‘Students breathe in toxic car fumes’

HEALTH FEARS: Are children breathing in dangerous car fumes while waiting outside schools for their parents to pick them up?
HEALTH FEARS: Are children breathing in dangerous car fumes while waiting outside schools for their parents to pick them up? Jaimie Duplass

SEVERAL weeks ago I expressed my concerns to the senior staff of a school on what I believe to be a serious health issue.

Kiss and Go is a convenient way to collect young children from school in the afternoons.

Unfortunately, the young people waiting to be collected sit on the ground level with the passing cars' exhaust systems only feet away.

This practice lasts for from five to 25 minutes a day, five days a week.

The deputy principal of the school said he had consulted with Public Health on the issue, and that they believe there to be no health risk, and that it is an acceptable practice with no cause for concern.

He also pointed out that no health issues had ever been reported with regards to this practice.

Just as with passive cigarette smoke, health alerts are not always immediate.

Repercussions of these practices may not be evident for years to come.

But rest assured, evident they will be.

Allergies, asthma, bronchial, heart and lung diseases - are just some of the problems we can expect to see in the future.

Everyone has a duty of care to our young people. Are we really prepared to gamble with their lives?

We keep smokers five metres away from children's parks and playgrounds, yet it is seemingly all right to sit children just feet away from toxic car exhausts.

Simply keeping these young children (as with smoking) at least five metres away - in the school playground preferably - and getting the parents to park and walk to collect their children, will undoubtedly be a much safer alternative.

It is time to sit up and listen now, or face the obvious consequences in the future.

I am aware that other schools may have exactly the same practice in operation and if so, a law needs to be passed in order to give these children the right to a normal, healthy life.



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