1. Climate change negatively affects child health via both direct and indirect mechanisms.
2. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that pediatricians and governments take steps to mitigate climate change in order to safeguard and improve child health.
Rundown: Climate change is a well-described phenomenon that has a significant impact on child health. It has primary effects by increasing the frequency of natural disasters, resulting in increased risk of violent death, exposure to infectious diseases, and significant mental health consequences. Secondary effects (such as reduced air quality, changing ecosystems, and altered agricultural conditions) can exacerbate respiratory illnesses, increase infectious disease risk, and decrease food availability. Climate change also threatens child health at a broader societal level, affecting the economic and social viability of communities, schools, and families. The AAP therefore recommends that pediatricians and the health sector promote educational opportunities surrounding climate change and child health, seek ways to reduce the environmental impact of health facilities, use anticipatory guidance to discuss climate change and disaster preparedness with patients, and advocate for governmental policies and multi-disciplinary coalitions to address climate change.
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