August 14, 2019 10:34 pm

Canadian Paediatric Society says climate change could expose children to more health risks

A view of Edmonton's skyline covered in smoke from Alberta wildfires on May 30, 2019.

Eric Beck, Global News
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The Canadian Paediatric Society says it expects climate change to increasingly affect children’s health and is encouraging health-care providers to press all levels of government for measures that curb climate change.

The society’s new guidance paper points to emerging health issues for kids that include heat-sickness, reduced air quality and contaminated water sources.

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It also says natural hazards and extreme weather can raise longer-term mental health effects for kids, especially if families are displaced or lose their homes, if relatives die, or if children’s health care and schooling is interrupted.

The society says clinicians should learn more about the way climate affects kids’ physical and mental health, and even monitor local pollen, air quality and UV index levels so they can counsel families on measures including sun protection.

READ MORE: Climate change means more disease, deaths for Canadians, Lancet report finds

Watch below: (From November 2018) Dr. Courtney Howard, emergency room physician and Lancet author on the health effects of global warming, tells The West Block we all need to take an emergency room response to address climate change and its impact on our health.

The agency says heat-waves, forest fires and floods are expected to be more frequent in the coming years.

It adds that children can be disproportionately affected by climate-related changes because they metabolize more water, air, and food per kilogram of body weight than adults.

“Because of their growing and developing bodies, children are more vulnerable than adults to the effects of climate change,” lead author Dr. Irena Buka, a pediatrician in Edmonton, said Wednesday in a release.

“Climate change is the greatest global health threat of this century, and children are particularly vulnerable to its effects.”

READ MORE: Swedish teen sets sail for climate change conference in New York

Watch below: Germany’s foreign minister wishes Greta Thunberg a good trip and says concern over climate is “right and good.”

© 2019 The Canadian Press

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