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Act now or never- The effects of climate change on children

Act now or never- The effects of climate change on children

The global temperature is steadily increasing day by day. We know that it isn’t good for any living creature on the surface of the Earth. When the planet gets warmer and warmer, the people are likely to face the challenges of short winter, less rainfall, poor quality of air and shortage of groundwater. While everyone is prone to the diseases caused by rising global temperature, the children are the ones who are affected the most. There are chances for them to suffer both physically and psychologically. This is due to the fact that the children are still developing the immune system. They might not have got the power to fight back the foreign agents that try to attack their bodies. 


The children are said to be the vulnerable ones who fall prey for many diseases caused due to climate change such as diarrhoea, malaria and hunger and malnutrition. According to WHO, climate change is responsible for 2.4 per cent of diarrhoea, 6 per cent of malaria and 7 per cent of dengue fever around the globe. The organization is also afraid that child deaths would rise to 250,000 per year. The shocks such as for drought, heat stress, flood, storm, air pollution are happening in some place or the other. It is highly difficult for children to face these threats. Experiencing more than one shock could make things even worse leading to mental traumas. Even if the child experience it only once, the impact it creates stays longer which would eventually disturb the growth process. Now we understand that climate change is more serious than we have thought it is. As a parent, there are certain things you need to know about the issue of climate change that would be helpful to protect your children from the threat.

Beware of the diseases that attack children

The climate change is responsible for countless diseases, however, the most common ones that affect the health of the children are obesity, asthma, pneumonia and infections like diarrhoea. Apart from the physical attack, as mentioned earlier, the children may undergo psychological consequences like anxiety, stress, depression and even phobias. This in turn changes in the behaviour of children. Their cognitive development, learning and academic performances might also get affected.

What parents can do

  • Educate yourself – The first step to help your children face the problem of rising temperature is educating yourself about it. There is much organization that is working hard to address this issue. Visit the websites of Who.com and Aap.Org through which you can gain an understanding of the ongoing projects and policies to reduce global warming. 

  • Make changes – We are well aware of the causes of rising global temperature. Making small changes like using public transport and sustainable products does make a difference. Try recycling things and it’ll be even better if you avoid the usage of plastic.

  • Talk to the kids –The children might be too young to understand the causes and effects of climate change. But you should know that they are often hearing about the issue from school, TV and other platforms. Parents should teach the children to practice certain skills such as gardening, water filtering, sewing, preserving food just in case of emergency situations.

  • Create awareness –If there is one thing that you can do to prepare your kids for the future, it is creating awareness on the possible consequences. The best way to do it is by visiting the website ClimateKids by NASA. It provides all the necessary information on climate change in the children’s perspective. 

 

Finally, be the change that you want to see! There are plenty of things that can be done by us as individuals. So, teach your kids by your deeds and that makes the difference.

Courtesy: www.who.int; www.yaleclimateconnections.org;Pictures from www.pexels.com . 

 

Jenifer Deivanayagam

Research Intern @ KiddyLanes

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