Sunday, September 22, 2019 | ePaper

How climate change affects children’s health

  • Print


Md Altaf  Hussain :
We know that climate change is making heat waves hotter and longer, and more heat means more kids aren’t able to go outside and play. This is a critical issue because the number one health challenge facing our children today is obesity. More heat also makes more ozone, an air pollutant that's harmful to our lungs, and especially the lungs of kids with asthma.
Ozone can also harm pregnant women and their growing fetuses as air pollution is associated with early birth and small babies, which can lead to lifelong health problems.
With climate change, we’re also seeing more heavy downpours and droughts. Heat plus droughts can cause wildfires, and wildfires produce severe air pollution that worsens asthma attacks and can promote respiratory infections, including pneumonia.
Kids face unique health burdens because of climate change, according to the American Academy of Pediatricians (AAP), including “the broad effects of weather disasters, exacerbated allergic and asthmatic diseases, food and water insecurity, and heat-related deaths.”
Pediatricians are already seeing the effects of climate change in their patients. Because of climate change, winters are shorter, making outdoor allergy seasons longer and warmer. This worsens allergies and increases the chances of asthma symptoms.
Children are especially vulnerable to both the immediate and long-term impacts of climate-fueled natural disasters. The imminent threat to children from extreme weather is clear: They’re smaller and less physically capable than adults. They spend more time outside, increasing their exposure to dangerously high heat and more. They often rely on
others for decision-making and care, leaving them especially vulnerable during and immediately after emergencies like flash flooding.
We know that by reducing our dependence on fossil fuels like coal, oil, and natural gas-which are the major contributors to climate change-we can improve children's health right now. For instance, by burning less fossil fuel, we can reduce air pollution, which, as mentioned above, is associated with various health problems including asthma. When the air quality is too dangerous, we stop kids from playing outside, which is way climate change impacts obesity. Improving air quality can help prevent this.
Moreover, when we take steps to build our cities and infrastructure with climate change in mind, we’ll see immediate improvements in our children’s health. When we use more renewable energy and create more green space, our cities will be cooler and have less air pollution. When our communities are designed to promote public transportation and walking, we'll have healthier environments for kids.
Our kids are learning more about our changing world than we did. When they tell us that they want change, we must listen and voice their desires. A livable climate can’t wait until they take on positions of authority.
Many towns and cities want to decarbonize-in fact they’re leading on this issue-and parents can play a role in shaping those efforts. When your neighborhood is getting redeveloped, ask that plans be made to make it easier to walk and bike safely, ask for green space and access to public transit. These actions will benefit everyone’s health and especially the health of our children.

More News For this Category

How to nail this art

How to nail this art

Weekend Plus Desk :he next time you decide to pamper yourself with a manicure and a pedicure at home, ensure you do not ruin it by making these common

Grilled Fish in Lemon Butter Sauce recipe

Grilled Fish in Lemon Butter Sauce recipe

Weekend Plus Desk :Grilled Fish in Lemon Butter Sauce is an exquisite Continental recipe that not just fills your stomach but also satiates your craving. Made with fish fillets

Ways to ace space with minimalist furniture

Ways to ace space with minimalist furniture

Weekend Plus Desk :Minimalism is an easy and effortless way to elevate the look of your house, office or any space that is close to your heart. Modernised minimalistic

In remembrance we hail the message

In remembrance we hail the message

‘We are born to love’-Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu-Abdul Muqit Chowdhury“Suu Kyi, we are born to love, without prejudice”Great voice of sermon-an instance-setter. The noble call for justice and peace

Uncertain future

Md Saiful Islam :Sumona stands beside GPO as usual after completing her daily office chores. Here is now ‘Shahid Nur Hussain Chattar.’ Everything has changed. Re-naming has become quite

Rohingya Alokchitro By Md Sanaul Haque

Rohingya Alokchitro By Md Sanaul Haque

First publication: April 2019, Cover designed by Md Ashraful Karim, printed by Dot Printers, Fakirapool, Dhaka; Price: Tk 500.Md Sanaul Haque is a renowned photographer of Bangladesh who has

Poet and novelist Sunil Gangopadhyay

Poet and novelist Sunil Gangopadhyay

Literature Desk :Sunil Gangopadhyay or Sunil Ganguly (7 September 1934 - 23 October 2012) was an Indian Bengali poet and novelist. Born in Faridpur of Bangladesh, he obtained his

Must-have foods during pregnancy

Must-have foods during pregnancy

Weekend Plus Desk :The feeling of motherhood is beyond words, it brings with it a wave of happiness as well as agony. The phase is very crucial for both,

Doing hot yoga, keep these things in mind

Doing hot yoga, keep these things in mind

Weekend Plus Desk :Hot yoga is one of the most popular forms of yoga. From detoxifying the negative energies to making you sweat like crazy, just like a heavy-duty

Improving your skills

Improving your skills

Md Altaf Hussain :In today’s economy, professionals need to keep their skills sharp. While employers are struggling with a skills shortage, this means that professionals who have the right