A new Canadian Paediatric Society study finds that because kids metabolize more water, air and food per kilogram that adults, they can be disproportionately affected by the climate-related changes to their environment. (CBC)

New study warns of climate change’s (extra) ill-effects on children


We’re getting used to–and, hopefully, not inured–the pictures of ice cascading from what were once the shores of Greenland, the photos of people around the world grappling with record-high temperatures, wildfires that seem to erupt pretty much anywhere they might feel like it.

Everyone’s seen those.

But climate change also works in quieter ways–ways that might not draw headlines and breathtaking photos but ways parents know well when something goes wrong with their kids.

Be warned: climate change is coming after Canada’s children and, more than likely, children around the world.

The Canadian Paediatric Society says clinicians need to learn more about the way climate affects kids’ physical and mental health. (Carlos Osorio/The Associated Press)

We’re not just talking here about kids like Greta and her gang of Friday class-cutters.

The Health Organization estimates more than 88 per cent of diseases attributable to climate change are occurring in children younger than five.

No, climate change is increasingly affecting kids way younger-affecting their mental and physical health.

Greta Thunberg, seen next to Swedish parliament in Stockholm last month, has become a driving force in trying to set things right environmentally for her generation. (David Keyton/The Associated Press)

That’s the conclusion of a study commissioned by the Canadian Paediatric Society and led by Dr. Irena Buka, an Edmonton pediatrician and Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Alberta.

She is also director of the World Health Organisation (WHO) Collaborating Centre in Child Health in Edmonton and the director of the Children’s Environmental Health Clinic (ChEHC) in Edmonton.

Students around the world took to the streets on March 15, 2019 to protest a lack of climate awareness and demand that elected officials take action on climate change. (Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

This is a person who knows of which she speaks and does not appear prone to pulling any punches.

The CPS published Dr. Buka’s findings Wednesday in new guidance document that found that children–to understate–are more vulnerable than adults to the effects of climate change.

The lead author of the CPS report was Edmonton pediatrician and University of Alberta Clinical Professor of Pediatrics Irena Buka. (ualberta.ca)

Children, the study found, are disproportionately affected by climate-related changes because they metabolize more water, air and food per kilogram of body weight than adults.

That means–among other things–more allergies, heat exhaustion, heat strokes, asthma and heart disease.

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

I spoke with her by phone on Friday. Listen to the interview.

Dr. Irena Buka discusses her report with RCI's Terry Haig. (Romrodphoto/Shutterstock)
Categories: Economy, Health, Internet, Science and Technology, Society
Tags: , , , ,

Do you want to report an error or a typo? Click here!

@*@ Comments

Leave a Reply

Note: By submitting your comments, you acknowledge that Radio Canada International has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Radio Canada International does not endorse any of the views posted. Your comments will be pre-moderated and published if they meet netiquette guidelines.

Netiquette »

When you express your personal opinion in an online forum, you must be as courteous as if you were speaking with someone face-to-face. Insults and personal attacks will not be tolerated. To disagree with an opinion, an idea or an event is one thing, but to show disrespect for other people is quite another. Great minds don’t always think alike—and that’s precisely what makes online dialogue so interesting and valuable.

Netiquette is the set of rules of conduct governing how you should behave when communicating via the Internet. Before you post a message to a blog or forum, it’s important to read and understand these rules. Otherwise, you may be banned from posting.

  1. RCInet.ca’s online forums are not anonymous. Users must register, and give their full name and place of residence, which are displayed alongside each of their comments. RCInet.ca reserves the right not to publish comments if there is any doubt as to the identity of their author.
  2. Assuming the identity of another person with intent to mislead or cause harm is a serious infraction that may result in the offender being banned.
  3. RCInet.ca’s online forums are open to everyone, without regard to age, ethnic origin, religion, gender or sexual orientation.
  4. Comments that are defamatory, hateful, racist, xenophobic, sexist, or that disparage an ethnic origin, religious affiliation or age group will not be published.
  5. In online speak, writing in ALL CAPS is considered yelling, and may be interpreted as aggressive behaviour, which is unpleasant for the people reading. Any message containing one or more words in all caps (except for initialisms and acronyms) will be rejected, as will any message containing one or more words in bold, italic or underlined characters.
  6. Use of vulgar, obscene or objectionable language is prohibited. Forums are public places and your comments could offend some users. People who use inappropriate language will be banned.
  7. Mutual respect is essential among users. Insulting, threatening or harassing another user is prohibited. You can express your disagreement with an idea without attacking anyone.
  8. Exchanging arguments and opposing views is a key component of healthy debate, but it should not turn into a dialogue or private discussion between two users who address each other without regard for the other participants. Messages of this type will not be posted.
  9. Radio Canada International publishes contents in five languages. The language used in the forums has to be the same as the contents we publish or in one of the two official languages, English or French. The usage of other languages, with the exception of some words, is forbidden. Messages that are off-topic will not be published.
  10. Making repetitive posts disrupts the flow of discussions and will not be tolerated.
  11. Adding images or any other type of file to comments is forbidden. Including hyperlinks to other websites is allowed, as long as they comply with netiquette. Radio Canada International  is in no way responsible for the content of such sites, however.
  12. Copying and pasting text written by someone else, even if you credit the author, is unacceptable if that text makes up the majority of your comment.
  13. Posting any type of advertising or call to action, in any form, to Radio Canada International  forums is prohibited.
  14. All comments and other types of content are moderated before publication. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to refuse any comment for publication.
  15. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to close a forum at any time, without notice.
  16. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to amend this code of conduct (netiquette) at any time, without notice.
  17. By participating in its online forums, you allow Radio Canada International to publish your comments on the web for an indefinite time. This also implies that these messages will be indexed by Internet search engines.
  18. Radio Canada International has no obligation to remove your messages from the web if one day you request it. We invite you to carefully consider your comments and the consequences of their posting.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

 characters available