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Climate Change and Children’s Health—A Call for Research on What Works to Protect Children
School of Public Health & Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation, Queensland University of Technology, Kelvin Grove, Brisbane, QLD 4059, Australia
Department of Preventive Medicine and Pediatrics, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY 10029, USA
School of Population Health, University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD 4066, Australia
Department of Health Statistics and Epidemiology, School of Public Health, Anhui Medical University, Hefei 230032, China
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 18 July 2012; in revised form: 15 August 2012 / Accepted: 5 September 2012 / Published: 10 September 2012
Abstract: Climate change is affecting and will increasingly influence human health and wellbeing. Children are particularly vulnerable to the impact of climate change. An extensive literature review regarding the impact of climate change on children’s health was conducted in April 2012 by searching electronic databases PubMed, Scopus, ProQuest, ScienceDirect, and Web of Science, as well as relevant websites, such as IPCC and WHO. Climate change affects children’s health through increased air pollution, more weather-related disasters, more frequent and intense heat waves, decreased water quality and quantity, food shortage and greater exposure to toxicants. As a result, children experience greater risk of mental disorders, malnutrition, infectious diseases, allergic diseases and respiratory diseases. Mitigation measures like reducing carbon pollution emissions, and adaptation measures such as early warning systems and post-disaster counseling are strongly needed. Future health research directions should focus on: (1) identifying whether climate change impacts on children will be modified by gender, age and socioeconomic status; (2) refining outcome measures of children’s vulnerability to climate change; (3) projecting children’s disease burden under climate change scenarios; (4) exploring children’s disease burden related to climate change in low-income countries; and (5) identifying the most cost-effective mitigation and adaptation actions from a children’s health perspective.
Keywords: climate change; child health; mechanism; mitigation; adaptation
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MDPI and ACS Style
Xu, Z.; Sheffield, P.E.; Hu, W.; Su, H.; Yu, W.; Qi, X.; Tong, S. Climate Change and Children’s Health—A Call for Research on What Works to Protect Children. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9, 3298-3316.
Xu Z, Sheffield PE, Hu W, Su H, Yu W, Qi X, Tong S. Climate Change and Children’s Health—A Call for Research on What Works to Protect Children. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2012; 9(9):3298-3316.
Xu, Zhiwei; Sheffield, Perry E.; Hu, Wenbiao; Su, Hong; Yu, Weiwei; Qi, Xin; Tong, Shilu. 2012. "Climate Change and Children’s Health—A Call for Research on What Works to Protect Children." Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 9, no. 9: 3298-3316.