Children's Environmental Health Collaborative
The combined effects of ambient air pollution and household air pollution are associated with 7 million premature deaths annually.
children are exposed to heatwaves.
children globally has dangerous blood lead levels.
people visit health care facilities without reliable electricity, water, sanitation or waste disposal services.
Children today face a new set of challenges that were unimaginable just a generation ago. Across the world, climate change, environmental degradation and unsafe built environments are threatening child survival, health and well-being. Given children’s unique metabolism, physiology and developmental needs, no group is more vulnerable to environmental harm. Exposure can impact children early and have a lifelong effect.
Disturbingly, the extent of this issue can be seen in how patterns of disease among children are changing worldwide, with a clear shift from communicable to noncommunicable diseases as a growing cause of childhood morbidity. In addition, this generation of children will be the first to grow up in a world made far more dangerous by climate change. Extreme weather events, heat waves, the spread of infectious and vector-borne diseases, as well as detrimental impacts on air, water and food quality, are direct threats to a child’s ability to survive, grow and thrive.
children under the age of 5 die every year from unhealthy environments.
Children are not little adults
Children have a higher metabolism, critical periods of rapid growth and development, immature immune and detoxification systems and a proportionately higher intake of air, water and food compared to their body weight. This makes them uniquely vulnerable to environmental exposures that can lead to long-lasting impacts on cognitive function, behaviour and overall health.
The scale and range of environmental risks children face require holistic action across issues, borders, sectors and partners to drive lasting impact. We owe it to the world’s children to act now.
The Children’s Environmental Health Collaborative will work to prevent the impact of climate change and environmental degradation from eroding years of critical progress on children’s health. Together we can protect children’s health, development and well-being.