School Performance, Highways and Asthma
One of the most basic requirements for being successful in school is actually showing up for school. Overcoming poor school attendance isn’t just a matter of parental discipline, however. Often, it’s a matter of health. Every now and then, children become to sick to attend school.
Every child will catch a bad cold every now and then. Some children, however, have more chronic health problems. These children miss school often, and have difficulty reaching the academic potential. The consequences can affect them for the rest of their lives.
Collectively, American children with asthma miss 14 million days of school every year because of their condition. If fewer children had asthma, fewer children would have chronic school attendance problems, and more children would be successful in school. How, though, can childhood asthma be reduced?
We can start by reducing highway traffic. A study by the University of Southern California found that children who live within 1,500 feet of highways and busy roads are more likely to have reduced lung function of the sort that contributes to asthma. A likely reason for this pattern is the massive air pollution caused by the many cars traveling on those highways.
So, if we want children to be more successful in school, one of the things that we can do is to reduce the air pollution on America’s highways. For years, progressives have been urging measures that would do just that. Right wingers have been busy blocking those measures from being put into effect.
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