Shocking Report Shows How Climate Change Could Have Lifelong Effects on Children’s Health
There’s no denying that we are already starting to experience the devastating effects of climate change, but health experts warn that the worst is yet to come.
According to a recently published report by The Lancet medical journal, climate change is negatively affecting children’s health, and this upcoming generation may have to deal with serious health issues their entire lives.
Air Pollution, Infectious Diseases, and Malnutrition
The report, compiled by health experts from at least thirty-five institutions in conjunction with UN agencies, says that over the coming years, children will increasingly have to battle air pollution, infectious diseases, and malnutrition, if global warming is not checked.
By the time a toddler born today celebrates their 71st birthday, the report suggests that planet Earth will be over 4°C warmer. As we all know, the planet is already getting warmer and warmer, and the hotter it gets, the more difficulties newborns will face as they grow.
Explaining the report, The Lancet’s executive director Nick Watts said that compared to adults, children are more vulnerable to the variety of health risks associated with changing climate.
This, Watts goes on, is because their bodies, and by extension their immune systems, are still undergoing development, leaving them susceptible to environmental pollutants and disease.
At the current global warming rate, the United Nations claims that in the next two decades, the earth will be 1.5°C warmer. Should this figure get to 2°C, there’s the possibility of a food crisis on a global scale.
Watts says that without action from all countries in the world to fight global warming, general wellbeing, as well as life expectancy will be severely compromised, and global climate change could just end up defining an entire generation’s health outcomes.
According to this report, infectious diseases are a menace where children are concerned. The unfortunate reality is that changes in rainfall patterns as well as increasing temperatures exacerbate such infections, and the increasing cases of dengue fever are a true testament to this.
There have been 10 years described as hospitable for the transmission of the mosquito-borne infection, and believe it or not, 9 of them have come after the turn of the new millennium, when the world started to come to terms with the effects of global warming.
The Air Pollution Concern
Air pollution is also a particular source of concern, given that as they grow, kids will continue inhaling toxic air. If nothing is done to correct the situation, this is the air they’ll breathe their entire lives.
What do you suppose the adverse health effects will be? Lung-related ones, of course, with the UN also saying that air pollution will put them at a higher risk of developing asthma, and possibly suffering from heart attacks.
According to the WHO, air pollution is responsible for approximately 7 million deaths every year. Specific to outdoor pollution though, the number is considerably lower, reaching 2.9 million in 2016. All the same, a single life lost is already one lives too many, don’t you agree?
According to Hugh Montgomery who co-chaired the writing of this report, never have the effects of changes in climate been clearer than in 2019. Countries in Europe suffered massive heat waves, and afterwards Greenland was hit, leading to the melting of a record amount of ice.
The world needs to rise up to the occasion, don’t you think?
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