Climate Change Overview
Rising global temperatures are causing major physical, chemical and ecological changes across the planet. Climate change poses threats to human health, safety, and security, and children are uniquely vulnerable to these threats.
Children breathe faster than adults, spend more time outdoors, and experience critical periods of development during which they are particularly vulnerable to environmental hazards, including those caused by climate change. Climate change can put children at a higher risk of heat-related illness, increase the incidence of asthmatic and allergic diseases, and contribute to the expansion of infectious diseases.
Climate change associated weather disasters pose a significant risk for children. These events may cause immediate risks, such as death and injury. Following the initial weather disaster, these events may also affect children through displacement, interruption in education, disruptions in health care delivery and mental health consequences for children and their family members, which can have lifelong impacts for affected children.
Furthermore, the health impacts of climate change are greatest for children and communities already experiencing socioeconomic disadvantage.
Climate solutions are vital to protecting all children’s health today, and to ensuring a safe and prosperous world for their future.