Heat waves and how they impact children

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Climate change is raising global temperatures and causing historic heat waves. More countries are facing hotter days more frequently, with more intensity and for longer periods. The heat stress caused by exposure to heat waves can negatively affect health and well-being, especially for infants and young children. 

A third of the world’s children experience 4-5 heat waves per year, on average. This means exposure to at least one of the following high-heat conditions: 

  • Temperatures over 35°C for 83.54 or more days per year;
  • A heatwave that lasts at least 4.7 days or longer; or 
  • Temperatures 2°C or more above the local 15-day average.

Learn more about how heat stress caused by extreme temperatures is putting more children at risk each year in this explainer story from UNICEF.