Idling is bad for kids health

Do you sometimes see parents idling at schools? Vehicle emissions are more concentrated at ground level where kids are standing—and breathing.

Children breathe more air per pound of body weight than do adults. For this reason, they take in proportionately higher “doses” of any pollutants, which enter their lungs and, in some cases, bloodstream. Children are more biologically vulnerable.

For parents waiting in passenger cars, it’s simple. Turn off the engine. Protect our children. Ask your PTO and Principal to share this message with the parents at your school.

New Blue Zone signs remind you to Turn It Off

New Blue Zone signs went up across Newton this October reminding drivers not to idle near schools (thank you NPS and City of Newton). What is idling? Vehicle idling is when a driver leaves a vehicle running while parked. Follow us on Facebook this week as Newton Safe Routes explores the health impact of car emissions and idling vehicles on children and see what you can do to make the air around schools and playgrounds safer for our children. #IdleFreeNewton

But isn't it bad to restart my engine?

  • Ten seconds of idling a car (thirty for trucks and SUVs) uses more fuel than restarting the engine.
  • Excessive idling can actually damage your engine components, including cylinders, spark plugs and exhaust systems. Fuel is only partially combusted when idling because the engine does not operate at peak temperature. This leads to the buildup of fuel residues on cylinder walls that can damage engine components and lower mileage.
  • Idling is not an effective way of warming up your engine, as your vehicle is made up of many moving parts. To properly warm your vehicle’s transmission, tires, suspension, steering and wheel bearings, you need to start driving slowly.
  • Restarting a car many times has little impact on engine components such as the battery and the starter motor. The wear on parts that restarting the engine causes adds an average of $10 a year to the cost of driving – money that you’ll likely recover several times over in fuel savings.
  • An hour of idling time in a 4-cylinder vehicle uses more than a gallon of gasoline, and an idling 8-cylinder engine burns over 4 gallons in an hour. Cutting the idling habit can improve mileage 5% to 20%.
  • Every gallon of gas you burn produces about 19 pounds of atmostpheric carbon dioxide. Idling pollutes the air, harms our health, and contributes to global warming. Idling wastes fuel, which is costly and damaging to the environment to produce.
Contact us at NewtonSafeRoutes@gmail.com. Follow us on Facebook at @NewtonSafeRoutes.