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5 Ways to Protect your Child from Climate Change!

 

Climate change is happening but we can protect our kids! 

When it comes to climate change, no one is exempt from experiencing its impact on their health—and our children are bearing the most brunt.

Burning fossil fuel to operate our vehicles; cutting down trees; clearing vast tracts of land; dumping garbage on landfills; and other human activities all contribute to the release of carbon dioxide and methane in the atmosphere. These and other gasses trap the sun’s heat, creating what is known as a greenhouse effect, and in turn, global warming. Global warming is just one of many consequences of climate change. Note the rising sea waters, warmer oceans, melting glaciers, intense droughts, and more devastating storms.

According to Dr. Romina Gerolaga, MD from the Department of Pediatrics of top hospital in the Philippines, the Makati Medical Center (Makati Med),
While it may not be apparent at first, climate change directly affects our children’s health. Our kids’ immune system and organs are not quite fully developed; children breathe at a faster rate and therefore, this increases their exposure to toxic air pollutants, which can damage their lungs.

The doctor points out that this was confirmed by a study conducted by Harvard University, in collaboration with the University of Birmingham, the University of Leicester, and University College London. Thousands of kids under age 5, die each year due to respiratory infections attributed to fossil fuel pollution.

The pediatrician added,
Moreover, the hotter temperature makes it dangerous for kids to play outdoors for a prolonged period of time. With limited physical activity though, they set themselves up for obesity, another major health challenge facing our children today. But if they do play outdoors, the poor air quality could trigger allergies or asthma attacks while prolonged direct sun exposure may cause skin diseases.

Furthermore, natural disasters worsened by climate change can bring flooding and with it, diseases caused by contaminated water, trauma or relocation that impact children’s mental health.

The reality is that climate change isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Slowing it down takes a concerted global effort over a significant number of years. Till then, there are some ways parents can still protect their kids from climate change’s ill effects.

More Plants on your Plate

Shifting to a more plant-based diet is good for not just your kids’ health but also the environment. We are already aware of how beneficial a plant-based diet is, and it can help lessen the world’s global greenhouse gas emissions since livestock contributes roughly 15 percent to that annually according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

Protect your Child’s Skin from the Sun

The sun casts its damaging UV rays from 10 am to 4 pm, the expert points out. If your kids want to be outdoors at those hours, remember to slather them with sunblock and provide them with cold drinks. Playing in the shade also shields them from direct heat and the sun’s harmful rays or schedule their playtime or outdoor walks during the early mornings.

Improve Air Quality

Though you cannot control air pollution outdoors, you can certainly keep the air in your home clean by purging air and allowing better air flow; and if possible, by investing in a portable air purifier or a high-efficiency air filter. Dr. Gerolaga suggests cleaning your house regularly and making sure fans and filters of air conditioning units are regularly checked to improve air quality and prevent dust accumulation.

Prevent Diseases

Stop dengue in its tracks by clearing your immediate surroundings of standing water, where mosquitoes typically breed. When going out, you can also apply a mosquito repellent for extra safety. Repellants made from natural ingredients which are safe for children are already available in the market. Also, do not let your kids wade or play in flood water. This ensures their safety against leptospirosis, cholera, and other illnesses from contaminated water.

Prep for Emergencies

When preparing an emergency bag for your child, fill it with essentials like clean potable water in bottles and ready-to-eat food, clothes, toiletries, a flashlight, and medicines. You may opt to include comforting things like a blanket or their favorite small toy, a book, and some paper and pencils to keep them busy and pleasantly distracted from unfamiliar surroundings or a stressful time.


Climate change can be such a complicated issue, especially now that it is hitting home and affecting the most vulnerable in your household. That is why Dr. Gerolaga reminds you to get help from health experts when it comes to your child’s health. 

It is best to let your child’s pediatrician in on what’s going on. They will be able to offer a workable solution for your child’s overall well-being despite the challenges
Dr. Gerolaga recommends.

For more information, please contact MakatiMed On-Call at +632.88888 999, email mmc@makatimed.net.ph, or visit www.makatimed.net.ph. Follow @IamMakatiMed on Facebook and Twitter.