Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Kids most at risk from global warming impacts

Children are especially vulnerable to the adverse health effects of global warming according to a report released Monday at the American Academy of Pediatrics annual conference:  "Direct health impacts from global warming include injury and death from more frequent extreme weather events, such as hurricanes and tornados. For children, this can mean post-traumatic stress, loss of caregivers, disrupted education and displacement. Increased climate-sensitive infectious diseases, air pollution-related illness, and heat-related illness and fatalities also are expected....As the climate changes, the earth’s geography also will change, leading to a host of health risks for kids. Disruptions in the availability of food and water and the displacement of coastal populations can cause malnutrition, vitamin deficiencies and waterborne illness...Within all of these categories, children have increased vulnerability compared with other groups."  The health dangers associated with climate change affecting children include a projected increase in vector-borne illnesses, such as infestation of malaria bearing mosquitoes; increased incidence of asthma and respiratory illnesses; more heat-related deaths; food shortages caused by unchecked global warming; and dramatically reduced availability of fresh water in regions such as the US west coast. 
AAP technical report
AAP policy statement on global warming and children's health


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