Protecting children from heat stress: a technical note

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Climate change is raising global temperatures and increasing the frequency, intensity and duration of heatwaves. Heat stress contributes to significant negative health outcomes, particularly for infants, children, pregnant women, the elderly, outdoor workers and other vulnerable people. For infants, young children and pregnant women, greater heat stress is increasing the risk of adverse birth outcomes, chronic health issues and infant deaths.  

This note aims to improve the understanding of how heat stress impacts pregnant women, infants, children and adolescents; identify the symptoms of heat stress; and suggest interventions to support prevention, diagnosis, care and treatment to protect children’s health and well-being. It includes a risk communication framework, clinical case management and recommendations for planning and preparedness to protect pregnant women, infants, children and adolescents from heat stress.