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Health Tip: If There's a Wildfire Nearby

Please note: This article was published more than one year ago. The facts and conclusions presented may have since changed and may no longer be accurate. And "More information" links may no longer work. Questions about personal health should always be referred to a physician or other health care professional.

(HealthDay News) -- Smoke from a nearby wildfire threatens anyone, but poses even more of a threat to people with asthma, COPD, heart disease or diabetes, the American Lung Association says.

The group suggests what to do if a wildfire burns near you:

  • Stay inside, if possible.
  • Do not rely on a dust mask to keep your lungs safe. Most dust masks allow fine particles to filter through. More advanced masks include a filter, but it may not be 100 percent effective.
  • Protect your children, whose lungs are still developing and are more at risk for long-term damage.
  • Keep windows up while driving.
  • Put home air conditioning on recirculate to keep outside air from coming in.
  • Do not exercise outside.
  • Be ready to evacuate if given an order.

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