Climate change is impacting children's health.
Climate change threatens the very foundations of children’s health – access to clean air, water, fresh food and a safe environment. The damage caused by climate change is impacting our control of infectious diseases and threatens the social and economic stability of our children.
Currently, over 80% of global disease due to climate change impacts children, predominantly in developing countries. Those least responsible and least able to care for themselves are living the consequences of our climate inaction.
Children are not simply small adults. Children are biologically and psychologically more vulnerable than adults to the physical trauma, psycho-social stress, nutritional deprivation, infectious agents, and heat waves associated with climate change impacts.
Mental and emotional impacts on children from climate change include increased levels of post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety, phobias, sleep disorders, attachment disorders and substance abuse. Trauma and adversity in early life have long term effects on the development and function of all organ systems, increasing the risk of many chronic diseases in later life and shorten life expectancy.
We know what steps we need to take to stop climate change and to create a healthy environment for our children and our planet.
We need to drastically reduce our dependence on coal, oil and gas. The burning of fossil fuels is the number one cause of climate change and is a major contributor to air pollution. Burning fewer fossil fuels will lead to a healthier climate and immediately reduce the impacts of air pollution on children's health, such as asthma.
Children deserve every opportunity to reach their full potential. Embracing climate solutions and transitioning to clean, renewable energy will prevent disease and help children live healthy and happy lives.
Read our full report: No Time for Games: Children’s Health and Climate Change
No Time For Games Resources
No Time For Games Brochure: download the PDF brochure
No Time For Games research publications:
- No Time for Games: Children’s Health and Climate Change
- No Time for Games: Updated summary report 2018
- MJA-Insight Children and climate change: no time for games
- The MJA–Lancet Countdown on health and climate change: Australian policy inaction threatens lives
- Climate change is bad for schoolkids too
- Fact Sheets. Doctors for Environment Australia
- Framework for a national strategy on climate, health and well-being for Australia (Climate And Health Alliance, 2017)
To further support health and environment campaigns, join Doctors for the Environment Australia