Queensland Chief Health Officer urges educators to rethink outdoor play due to haze risk

Queensland Chief Health Officer urges educators to rethink outdoor play due to haze risk

by Freya Lucas

November 12, 2019

As New South Wales and Queensland battle through the catastrophic fire conditions predicted in many areas, the Queensland Chief Health Officer has urged those in South East Queensland to rethink the need to be outside, due to the deterioration in air quality as a result of smoke haze from the fires. 


Both Chief Health Officer, Dr Jeannette Young, and Queensland Minister for Health and Minister for Ambulance Services Steven Miles warned residents in Brisbane, Ipswich and the Gold Coast to “remain vigilant” as bushfire smoke blankets the region.


Dr Young issued a formal alert advising people in the south east to reduce their exposure to smoke over the next 24 to 48 hours, urging people to treat the warning seriously, and not be complacent, saying “everyone needs to limit time spent outdoors while these conditions remain.”


She recommended that any outdoor events planned for this week were rescheduled, and shared that she had recommended to the Queensland Department of Education that outside playtime be cancelled and children kept indoors, for education sites in Brisbane, Ipswich and the Gold Coast.


Mr Miles encouraged locals to stay inside, echoing Dr Young’s thoughts, adding “You only need to look outside to see what we’re in the middle of, and these conditions won’t clear any time soon.”


He encouraged residents to “stay indoors, run your air conditioner on recirculate and postpone outdoor activities.If you don’t need to go outside for extended periods, don’t.”


“Don’t go it alone, seek medical advice or ring Triple Zero (000) immediately if you’re experiencing any adverse reactions to the smoke, such as shortness of breath, prolonged coughing or wheezing,” Mr Miles added. 


Live air data for Queensland is available through the Department of Environment and Science website