Air Quality Health Index for Kids

Let Indi the Caterpillar teach you about the Air Quality Health Index (AQHI)! Indi and her friends will teach you about air pollution and what it means to your health. You will learn how to use the AQHI scale to determine which days are best to play outside and which days are best to stay indoors.

Image details:
Air Quality Health Index scale, colour day and risk category
 Risk CategoryAir Quality Health Index scale
 Low1-3
 Moderate4-6
 High7-9
 Very High10+

Indi is available to watch in the full length video (3 min and 38 seconds) where she will walk you through the different risk-days on the AQHI scale. Or you can view the short videos to emphasize certain risk days.

Full Transcript

Main Title: “Indi the Caterpillar – Air Quality Health Index”

Descriptive text: A caterpillar named Indi is in the city park, with grass, trees and building. On the bottom of the screen is the Air Quality Health Index (AQHI) colour legend labelled Low risk (1-3), Moderate risk (4-6), High risk (7-10) and Very high risk (10+), and number legend from 1 to 10+.

INDI: Hi. My name is Indi the Caterpillar. I'm here to tell you about the Air Quality Health Index. This is a special forecast for the air around us.

Look at all my different colours. Did you know that by matching my colours to the colours you see on your town’s Air Quality Health Index, you’ll know how clean the air is?

My friends Melissa, Tom and William will help us learn about air pollution and your health. Soon you’ll be able to tell your friends and family what days are the best days to play outside.

Scene 2

Descriptive text: Indi’s body is brightly coloured with patches of blue, yellow, red and brown corresponding to the same colours found on the Air Quality Health Index colour legend. Three children are playing in the park.

INDI:Let’s start by learning about what a blue day means. Are you ready?

It’s a blue day today. That means the air is very clean and the Air Quality Health Index number is 1, 2 or 3.

Descriptive text: The “blue” day on the Air Quality Health Index legend is glowing, and the numbers 1, 2 and 3 glow and flash in sequence as Indi says 1, 2 and 3.

MELISSA: It’s a blue day today.

TOM: That means the air is very clean today. 

WILLIAM: It's a great day for us to play outside.

INDI: I love blue days too! These are great days for having fun in the yard or park!

INDI:Remember to check the Air Quality Health Index every day before you go outside. 

Scene 3

Descriptive text: Indi is joined by three children in the park. Two children are flying kites and one is bird watching.  The “yellow” day on the Air Quality Health Index legend is glowing, and the numbers 4, 5 and 6 glow and flash in sequence as Indi says 4, 5 and 6.

INDI: Let’s learn about a yellow day. It’s a yellow day today, and the Air Quality Health Index number is 4, 5 or 6. That means the air is safe for most people today. 

TOM: It’s a yellow day today.

MELISSA: The air outside is clean enough for most people.

WILLIAM: I have asthma, but I feel okay.

INDI: Okay, William. If you feel worse, make sure you tell your parents or your teacher. You might need to stay inside for a while if you start to cough or have a sore throat.

INDI:Remember to check the Air Quality Health Index every day before you go outside. 

Scene 4

Descriptive text: Indi is joined by three children in the park. The “red” day on the Air Quality Health Index legend is glowing, and the numbers 7, 8 and 9 glow and flash in sequence as Indi says 7, 8 and 9.

INDI: Let’s learn about a red day. It’s a red day today, and the Air Quality Health Index number is 7, 8 or 9. The air is okay for some people today.

MELISSA: It’s a red day today.

WILLIAM: My asthma is bothering me. I’m going to tell my parents or my teacher.

TOM: Me too. I'm coughing a lot. Let's take it easy today.

INDI: Good idea, William and Tom. It’s important to think about taking a break from tiring activities like soccer and biking when the Air Quality Health Index is between 7 and 9.

INDI:Remember to check the Air Quality Health Index every day before you go outside. 

Scene 5

Descriptive text: Indi the caterpillar is joined by three children outside of a house. The “brown” day on the Air Quality Health Index legend is glowing, and the number 10+ glows and flashes as Indi says 10+.

INDI: Let’s learn about a brown day. It’s a brown day today, and the Air Quality Health index number is 10 or higher. The air is unhealthy. It’s best to play inside today.

MELISSA: It’s a brown day today.

WILLIAM: The air is unhealthy. We should play inside today.

TOM: Let's go over to my house. I have lots of games to play.

Closed Caption: The children walk off the screen.

INDI: Brown days usually don’t last long, since the Air Quality Health Index is not often this high. However, it can happen and we should avoid outdoor activities such as sports, running and biking on “brown” days. Remember to check the Air Quality Health Index every day before you go outside. 

Scene 6

(no dialogue)

Descriptive text: Canada.ca/weather. ©Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, represented by the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, 2016.

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