Climate change and its effects on children’s health

A new report from The Lancet magazine warns of the dire consequences of the climate crisis on the health of children born today unless urgent action is taken.

A few days ago we told you from Blogthinkbig.com the close relationship between climate change and its effects on our health, in this case at a nutritional level. As a result of global warming, the increase in CO2 and the level of the oceans, we witness abnormal episodes such as extreme droughts, severe heat waves or floods.

All this undoubtedly affects agriculture and the loss of nutrients in the food we consume every day. There has been a decrease in the concentration of proteins, vitamins and minerals, as well as an increase in starch in our diet, which affects the health of the population around the world.

Food insecurity and disease spread
A new report published in The Lancet magazine warns that climate change seriously threatens the health of children worldwide due to its already visible devastating effects on our health. In this study, about 100 experts and 35 global institutions intervened to analyze a total of 41 indicators that demonstrate the effects of climate change on health.

One of the aspects that most worries is malnutrition due to food insecurity and infectious diseases such as diarrheal diseases, since climatic effects accelerate its spread. “The path that the world chooses today will irreversibly affect the future of our children,” said Stella Hartinger, a researcher at the Cayetano Heredia University of Peru and one of the main authors of the research.

In this sense, the team of researchers has marked two possible situations for global health in the future according to global warming of the planet. In the event that the temperature is maintained at least 1.5ºC and the Paris Agreement is fulfilled, a baby born today would grow up in a world with zero level of CO2 emissions when he was 31 years old and guarantee his well-being.

Otherwise, if governments continue without executing specific solutions and a large part of the population without awareness, a child born today would be in adulthood with 4 ° C more warming of the Earth and the impacts on their health would be irreversible. Goodbye to clean air, safe and quality access to drinking water and food insecurity.

Children are the most vulnerable sector to the effects of the destruction of the planet because their immune system is still developing and they are more prone to suffer diseases and to be exposed to environmental factors.

Mosquito-borne diseases
“Climate change will define the health of a whole generation,” predicts The Lancet director Nick Watts. «The highest temperatures recorded in Western Europe and forest fires in Siberia, Queensland and California caused asthma, respiratory infections and heat stroke. And the sea level is rising to an increasingly worrisome rhyme, ”they say.

The spread of infectious and diarrheal diseases is a fact that is already happening due to climate change because it must be remembered that water is the main transmitter of diseases and in much of the world there is no safe access.

Something similar occurs with diseases transmitted by mosquitoes such as dengue, since the rise in global temperature has caused its dispersion in much of Europe. In the case of Spain, the study experts point out, we have very good conditions for mosquitoes that transmit certain diseases to arrive and settle here and, if necessary, acquire the pathogen to transmit the disease. We are already seeing it with the first endemic cases of these days, ”says Jaime Martínez-Urtaza, a scientist at the Center for Environment Fisheries and Aquaculture Sccience (Cefas) in the United Kingdom.

The welfare of the next generations is at stake and is a latent threat to which we must act from to avoid possible irreversible consequences on world public health and should be part of the political agenda of all governments.

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