A recent study has established that children are suffering from various ailments which can be attributed to the irregular patterns of weather due to climate change. Children face potential health risks because of this man-made factor that brings with it different types of diseases.

CNN reports that doctors have warned about the imminent dangers that the children face unless there is awareness about the pitfalls. Hurricanes like Katrina, Harvey, and Irma are examples of the effects of climate change and children have felt the impact. The world must wake up to this reality and assign necessary priority to arrest the trend.

This is based on findings of a study published in the Journal Pediatrics.

The deadly Zika virus

Dr. Kevin Chan, chairman of pediatrics at a university in Canada is a co-author of the paper. He has indicated that the source of hurricanes is the unpredictable patterns of weather. These give rise to heat waves and a corresponding increase in the spread of infectious diseases like Zika. This is a mosquito-borne disease and came to light in 2015 and is believed to be due to instability in climate. In the opinion of Dr. Chan, climate change cannot be wished away. It is happening and the children are most vulnerable to it.

A separate study published in The Lancelot has revealed that in 2015, a large percentage of deaths of children younger than five were due to diseases like diarrhea, malaria, and nutritional deficiencies.

Here again, the finger points to climate changes and associated health risks. Malaria is another mosquito-borne disease while diarrhea is from bacterial infection. The WHO has cautioned that the situation is grim and unless checked could lead to an increase in such deaths.

Caution is the watchword

Natural disasters like hurricanes or floods are because of climate change and have a direct effect on the people.

Their lives are thrown into disarray, they lose stability, and face a shortage of many basic needs like drinking water, proper food, and sanitation. They fear for their children, who can succumb to contagious diseases. These health risks mount with extreme heat, drought conditions, and air pollution. The children usually have a tendency to spend more time in the out-of-doors.

Thereby, they become victims of pollution from the heat generated by fossil fuel exhaust. Moreover, when they spend more time outdoors, they can fall prey to insects that carry infections.

The 2015 Paris climate accord has forced the world to examine various options to tackle the issue and put an end to using fossil fuels. In view of the effects on children, the global community must rise as one to safeguard the interests of our future generation.