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Fulton County Health partners to protect students' health | Health

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Fulton County Health partners to protect students' health
Health, Schools
Fulton County Health partners to protect students' health

ATLANTA -- Today, the Fulton County Department of Health and Wellness has signed a memorandum of understanding with Bright from the Start: Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning (DECAL) and the Georgia Head Start Association to raise awareness of daily air quality conditions as part of the county’s Fulton Asthma Improvement and Reduction (F.A.I.R.) initiative to address asthma-related health disparities.  According to the American Lung Association, 24,657 children and nearly 55,000 adults in Fulton County suffer from asthma.

“This memorandum of understanding places us in a position  to directly affect the health outcomes of our youngest residents,” states Patrice A. Harris, Director, Fulton County Health Services.  “It also allows us to educate not only the student, but also parents and teachers about the effect of poor air quality and asthma triggers.”

The organizations have joined the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s School Flag Program to help protect children’s health in Georgia’s Pre-K, Health Start, and Early Health Start centers and child care centers.  Children are particularly susceptible to air pollution which can harm their lungs and trigger asthma attacks.

The Flag Program works by posting a flag each day based on the Air Quality Index (AQI) to show different levels of pollution.  The notification of the air quality through the flags will enable teachers and parents to take appropriate actions to protect the health of the students.  According to the memorandum of understanding, Fulton County will provide training and materials for participating child care learning centers regarding the Flag Program.

The F.A.I.R. Initiative was created as a result of a resolution sponsored by Vice Chair Emma I. Darnell and approved by the Board of Commissioners that directed the County Manager and Director of Health Services to develop an Asthma Control Action Plan to address asthma-related disparities in Fulton County.

For more information about FAIR, visit www.fultoncountyga.gov.  For more information on the School Flag Program, visit the EPA’s AIRNOW website at www.airnow.gov/schoolflag.

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