The UN Children’s Fund is warning about the severe and life-threatening effects of heatwaves on children.
“The climate crisis is a child rights crisis – and it is already taking a devastating toll on children’s lives and futures,” said UNICEF Executive Director, Catherine Russell on Tuesday.
According to Russell, the more heatwaves that children are exposed to, the greater their chance of developing health problems such as chronic respiratory conditions, and cardiovascular diseases.
Protecting children from the escalating impacts of heatwaves should be a priority for all countries, UNICEF said, in a call for “urgent and dramatic emissions mitigation measures to contain global heating – and protect lives”.
According to recent data, ‘children in northern regions will face the most dramatic increases in high heatwave severity, while by 2050, nearly half of all children in Africa and Asia will face sustained exposure to extreme high temperatures over 35C (95F).’
Regarding those statistics, Vanessa Nakate, climate activist and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador said that the more frequent, longer lasting and more severe heatwaves children are exposed to, the greater the impacts on health, safety, nutrition, education, access to water and future livelihoods.