Valley athletes - high school and recreational - slogging through smoky air
This year, every athlete at all five of the high schools in the state’s largest district began training for the fall campaign by gulping down giant breaths of smoky air. Video by IdahoOnYourSide.comvideo
This year, every athlete at all five of the high schools in the state’s largest district began training for the fall campaign by gulping down giant breaths of smoky air.
“It sucks right now,” hiker Austin Teretto said. “All these fires are just making it hard to breathe.”
“Yeah,” Teretto’s hiking partner, Olivia Adams, said, “really coughing up a lot.”
Neither Teretto nor Adams plays football. No coach or team mandated they sweat and itch and rasp in the smoky foothills, Tuesday. Instead, they elected to hike for fun.
“Lot of coughing, sneezing,” Teretto said, “lot of sneezing. It kind of makes your allergies worse.”
The Meridian School District’s coordinator of nursing services, Kate Muldoon, admitted to seeing some of those symptoms in kids attending the district’s four elementary schools currently in session. But also said they hadn't encountered anything severe.
“We haven’t seen a whole lot of increase in kids with respiratory problems,” she said.
Meridian schools and sports teams force kids with asthma or other pre-diagnosed breathing issues to remain indoors. Parents may also request a spot on the bench – figurative or literal – for their child. But district athletic director, Mike Farris, said he’s yet to hear many complaints from players, coaches or parents.
“No,” he said. “Not really. If it gets to a point where we get to that red, unhealthy rating on the air quality, then we’re going to make some adjustments.”
Valley air neared that unhealthy-for-all rating Tuesday, but remained orange, sending those looking for a spot on a team or a spot with a view out into a smoky afternoon - no doubt anxious for crisp fall Fridays unobscured by late-summer smog.
“It’s just kind of making [exercising outside] more miserable,” Teretto said. “I still go outdoors all the time.”