Scary stories of children trapped in hot cars make headlines, but air pollution and the effects of climate change are even more threatening. Children are at greater risk for health changes due to these effects for a number of reasons, including how their bodies regulate toxins, need more air per pound, and adjust temperatures differently from adults. More than 90 percent of children under the age of 15 breathe air regularly so pollution puts their health and development at serious risk, while infectious diseases and water shortages – disasters where global warming intensifies — affecting more than one in four children and more than one. three, respectively.
Kari Nadeau, director of Stanford’s Sean N. Parker Center for Allergy & Asthma, examines the effects of air pollution on the heart, lungs, and immune system. Her work proves this exposed early Dirty air alters genes in a way that can lead to serious illnesses during adulthood, alters the immune system over time, and influences learning, and other research. Nadeau and Frederica Perera of Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health met and wrote a June 16 review in New England Journal of Medicine which describes pollution and the threat of climate change children’s health and calling for greater understanding and intervention from health experts.
Here, Nadeau discusses the environmental risks to children’s health and what health care providers can do to reduce them.
Why would the average person be surprised to learn how air pollution or climate change affects children’s health?
Significant progress has been made in reducing poverty environmental risks in recent years, industrial-related pollution has increased steadily and every single child in the world is expected to suffer from at least one climate change event in the next 10 years – this is something that most people will be surprised to learn. Similarly, I think it is particularly surprising that almost one-fourth of all deaths among children under 5 in the world can be prevented by addressing environmental hazards.
What can parents and other caregivers do to reduce their children’s exposure to air pollution and the effects of climate change?
There are a number of personal and family changes that people can make. For example, useful parents electric cars because their relatives can reduce the risk of asthma by 30%. If a family can eat less meat only one day a week, it can help protect the planet and improve the health of their children. Also, buying a filter like MERV 13 or higher for your home can reduce indoor air pollution. Using electronic devices instead of gas can improve your family’s air intake by up to 50%.
What should parents and other caregivers in forest-affected areas know about the dangers of smoke to children?
There is no safe distance from wildfire smoke. Children need to be inside when wild smoke pushes their air quality, or AQI, above 50, especially those with asthma, because their lungs are developing and the smoke can cause them unbearable damage. Children should wear comfortable N95 masks outside during wildfires. Being out in the smoke is like smoking a cigarette. In fact, even with an AQI of less than 22, inhaling outdoor air for 8 hours is similar to a single cigarette in terms of smoke inhalation and exposure to a wide range of chemicals. This may be hard to believe, but it is a real and compelling reason to switch to clean energy sources.
How can air pollution and climate change affect children’s mental health and / or cognition?
Recent clinical studies have shown that air pollution is a risk factor for mental health conditions in children and adolescents. For example, exposing one’s life to air pollution associated with traffic can lead to depression and anxiety symptoms. The main concern is the cumulative impact on mental health of air pollution and climate change. Negative factors in children, such as disasters and migration, not only pose a short-term risk for mental illness but also provide a permanent risk factor for anxiety, depression, and weather conditions in size.
What are some ways in which children in underprivileged societies are under increasing pressure from these influences?
Children of color are almost 10 times more likely to be exposed to toxins, pollution, and climate change than other children. In the United States, the number of pupils’ wings is twice as high as that of black children as white children are probably due to the number of factors involved. air pollution in the Black community. These and other environmental impacts, along with concerns related to poverty, injustice, and lack of access health care, increase for life. They cause serious health problems and shorten life expectancy.
How can pediatricians and other health professionals think about these issues, and how can we better train them in this regard?
We need to include children’s environmental health in the primary care and importance of public health. For example, when a family visits a pediatrician for a good pediatric visit and immunization, the pediatrician can talk a lot about the importance of breathing clean air, and avoiding wildfires. The pediatrician may ask about access to N95-appropriate pacifiers for children and home air purifiers. We can participate in the community health workers and networks to help improve public awareness childrenEnvironmental health, assessing the local environment, and by participating in community leadership pollution and measures to reduce emissions, etc.
Climate Change, Oil Pollution, and Child Health, New England Journal of Medicine (2022).
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Researcher discusses climate change and air pollution impacts on children’s health Source link Researcher discusses climate change and air pollution impacts on children’s health