With world leaders now gathered in Paris for the United Nations Conference on Climate Change Summit, the American Academy of Pediatrics has stepped in to voice their concerns of how climate change is affecting the health of the world’s children.
In a statement from their online journal Pediatrics, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) is Urging pediatricians and politicians to collaborate to protect children from climate-related threats such as natural disasters, heat stress, lower air quality, increased infections, and threats to food and water supplies.
Dr Samantha Ahdoot, the statement’s lead author and assistant professor of pediatrics at Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine explained that “because of their growing minds and bodies, children are uniquely vulnerable to changes in their environment”.
Climate change can lead to shortages in water and food, and an increase in infectious diseases. Extreme weather conditions due to climate change can lead to injury, separation from caregivers and even death. Because of their size and vulnerability, children are more prone to suffer from climate change than adults, with children under one year of age especially at risk.
The AAP statement has made recommendations to pediatricians, the health sector and the government to address climate change, stating that “failure to take prompt, substantive action would be an act of injustice to all children.”
Date: Oct. 26, 2015