Print Edition - 2018-05-17  |  Health and Living

Climate change is harming children’s health


May 17, 2018-

A new study shows that children bear 88 percent of the burden of diseases linked to climate change. Doctors are already seeing the serious effects of climate change on children’s health and it could reverse the progress made over the past 25 years in reducing child mortality.  Recent climate disasters have put children’s health at risk, as have increasing extreme temperatures (hot and cold), greater numbers of malaria-transmitting mosquitoes and dangerous viruses, more waterborne bacterial infections due to warmer water, and nutritional deficiencies linked to crop instability. In the face of such challenges, adults tend to be more resilient, whereas children often grow ill and die, particularly in developing nations. Deaths due to diarrhea, malaria and nutritional deficiencies among children younger than five accounted for 38 percent, 65 percent and 48 percent of all global deaths, respectively, in 2015.

Children suffer more heat impacts because they spend more time outside. They are more vulnerable to the heat-related increases in air pollution that come from fossil fuel exhaust, because their lungs are still developing. Outdoor play also makes them more prey to insect vectors carrying infections.

Published: 17-05-2018 07:33

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