Claim: Children are highly vulnerable to climate-related disasters
Recently, a study report has been published in a peer-reviewed open-access journal "PLOS Medicine". In this report, researchers from Columbia University identified some specific challenges related to the impacts of climate change on 2.3 billion children worldwide and suggested ways to address their priority needs. They claimed that young children are very vulnerable to climate change disasters and the onus on adults to provide the protection safety and care needed by children.
Children's Vulnerability to Climate Change and Disaster
Climate change increasingly affects human health and well-being. Children are highly vulnerable to the effects of climate change events. Because of its surface ratio to its small body, adults and children are particularly vulnerable to conflict and heat stress. During heat waves, children are likely to be affected by respiratory diseases, kidney disease, electrolyte imbalance, and fever.
Heat waves also aggravate allergens and air pollution that affect children more than adults because of their breathing and immune systems, and because they breathe more quickly than adults. Children were also at increased risk for mosquito-borne diseases such as dengue and chikungunya, as well as leprosy by drinking polluted water.
Authors of Medicine PLoS send temperatures hotter and can also expand the scope of sexually transmitted diseases, including Zika virus, which, after the epidemic in 2015, profoundly influenced the lives of children and their families throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. Even children who have been symptomatic at birth may develop problems later in life.
A research scholar, Madeleine Thomson, Ph.D., in the Department of Environmental Health Sciences, Columbia, and a guest editor in PLOS Medicine’s Special Issue on Climate Change and Health, explained those expressions briefly "Because of anatomical, cognitive, immunological, and psychological differences, children and adolescents are more vulnerable to climate change-related disasters such as floods and heat waves than adults. A dried condition can also contribute to conflict depression and forced migration in resource-poor situations, increasing the vulnerability of children to a wide range of health issues.
Studies indicate that climate change increases the intensity of cyclones in the North Atlantic hurricanes and that the adverse consequences for children's health may increase. Floodwaters of Hurricane Harvey a few weeks ago fell the standard rainfall. Most of the toxic data related to Archie was not published, and long-term effects on children's health were not known. In rural households, drought can have significant effects on child growth through increased food insecurity and dietary changes. After Hurricane Maria arrived in Puerto Rico in September 2017, medical respondents faced increases in gastroenteritis, exacerbation of asthma, and skin infections.
To begin to address the specific needs of children facing health disasters associated with climate change, Thompson and his colleagues suggest:
- Develop guidelines for best practices for climate change-related event planning that include strategies to address the health-related needs of children
- Fund mechanisms designed to assist vulnerable countries in Preparedness and response to climate-related disasters funding for the development of responses specifically addressing unmet needs for children's health should be considered
- To develop an adoptive medical and behavioral protocol, establish an international association of experts and set up a research agenda to address the specific needs of children born from natural calamities related to climate disasters.
Climate change threatens the future of children
UNICEF warned of the immediate danger of severe climate events on children and the threat of climate change to their future, referring to recent floods in southern India, forest fires in the western United States and heat waves in the northern hemisphere.
In any crisis, children are among the most vulnerable, and the severe weather events we are witnessing around the world are no exception. As extreme weather conditions increase the number of emergencies and humanitarian crises.
The World Meteorological Organization (WMO), in its June and July statements, referred to the record temperature rise in much of the northern hemisphere, heat waves, droughts, wildfires, floods, and landslides around the world. , Resulting in injuries, loss of life, environmental damage and heavy loss of livelihood. The countries of Central America and the Caribbean are preparing for the peak of the hurricane season and are trying to recover from the devastating 2017 season, which was the highest cost ever.
Such events can cause death and destruction, UNICEF said, adding that it brings with it health disasters and epidemics such as malnutrition, malaria, and diarrhea, which are fatal to many children. It believed that the recurrence of such extreme climatic events would increase their potential risks to children and reduce the global capacity to mitigate them and provide a humanitarian response.
At a time when the world is witnessing a steady rise in extreme climate-driven weather, the lives and future of children will be the most flawed, so it is essential that governments and the international community take concrete steps to protect the future and rights of children
By: Mahtab Alam Quddusi
By: Mahtab Alam Quddusi