We hear so much in our society about climate change and how disastrous it is for the world around us. There is no denying the impact that it's playing across the globe not just with weather, but the environment, survival of animals and so much more. Currently, climate change is causing alarm for another issue and it involves our children.
On Wednesday of last week, The Lancet journal published it's annual climate change and health report, sharing that in an international report by doctors how children growing up today will experience many different health related problems, much different than their parents ever experienced, due to the climate changing.
They noted an increase in diarrhea diseases, more dangerous heat waves, air pollution and increases in mosquito-borne diseases such as dengue fever and malaria, man-made global warming. These things are already harming public health around the world.
Pretty scary to even think about, but this is reality.
The study co-author Dr. Renee Salas, a Boston emergency room physician and professor at Harvard said that, “A child born today as they go through their lives they are going to be increasingly exposed to more and more harms that I did not experience. I cannot think of a greater health emergency.”
Digest that last thought there for a second. It's definitely time that something is done.
The diseases in question hit children much harder than they do adults, making our future generation at a much higher risk than ever - especially as the rates of these diseases are increasing by the year. For instance, Vibrio, which is a water-borne bacteria and a major cause of debilitating diarrhea, have doubled since 1980 with last year ranking second highest on record, the report said. Even further, 29 percent of the United States coastline is more vulnerable to Vibrio due to the climate change as well as the cholera version of Vibrio, which has increased nearly 10%.
“Children are the most vulnerable. They will bear the vast majority of the burden of climate change,’’ said Dr. Nick Watts, an Australian emergency room physician and the lead author of the global report. “Their health will be hit by climate change in a profoundly different way.”
And of course, one could argue that we have made so many major strides with modern medicine and vaccinations, however, Salas argues that with these new issues rising, it “threatens to undermine all of the gains we’ve had.”
Dr. Georges Benjamin, executive director of the American Public Health Association, who wasn’t part of this study sang its praises said, “We can’t ‘doctor’ our way out of this. We must address the root causes of climate change.”