1 In Every 4 Children Under The Age Of 5 Lose Their Lives To This. Did You Know?

Inheriting a Sustainable World: Atlas on Childrens Health and the Environment – a report by the World Health Organization (WHO) has mentioned pollution as the source of death of 1 in every 4 children under the age of 5. The report also gives us some shocking numbersThe deaths of 169 250 children under five in 2012 were attributable to ambient air pollution. You may also like: How this Delhi Mom Battles Air Pollution So That Her Family Breathes BetterWhat the report states:The report explains how that 26% of childhood deaths and 25% of the total disease burden in children (under the age of 5), in 2012, could have been prevented through the reduction of environmental risks such as air pollution, unsafe water, sanitation and inadequate hygiene or chemicals.
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We knew it. We could sense it ‘in the air’. But the recent reports and statistics paint a more gruesome picture than we would have thought. Are we losing sight of the one essential thing we need to stay alive and happy in life?

Inheriting a Sustainable World: Atlas on Children’s Health and the Environment – a report by the World Health Organization (WHO) has mentioned pollution as the source of death of 1 in every 4 children under the age of 5. The report also says how 1.7 million children (aged under 5 years) have lost their lives due to unclean and a polluted environment. Read the entire report here. 

What the report states:

  • The report clearly mentions how most of the other prevalent diseases that children are battling like diarrhoea, pneumonia and malaria can be made preventable by interventions that reduce environmental risks.
  • The report mentions how the harmful exposure can start as early as when in the mother’s womb and increase the risk of premature birth.
  • Every time the child is exposed to major pollutants during indoor and outdoor play, the chances of contracting chronic respiratory diseases like asthma for a lifetime are high, says the report.
  • Such prolonged exposure can also increase a lifelong risk of cancer, stroke and heart diseases, observes WHO.
  • “A polluted environment is a deadly one – particularly for young children,” says Dr Margaret Chan, WHO Director-General. “Their developing organs and immune systems, and smaller bodies and airways, make them especially vulnerable to dirty air and water.”
  • The report also gives us some shocking numbers

The deaths of 169 250 children under five in 2012 were attributable to ambient air pollution. An additional 531 190 deaths of children under five in 2012 resulted from lower respiratory infections caused by household air pollution. 

Another report, titled Don’t pollute my future! The impact of the environment on children’s health– states more on the sad plight of our children in today’s world. Read the entire report here.

You may also like: How this Delhi Mom Battles Air Pollution So That Her Family Breathes Better 

What the report states:

  • The report explains how that 26% of childhood deaths and 25% of the total disease burden in children (under the age of 5), in 2012, could have been prevented through the reduction of environmental risks such as air pollution, unsafe water, sanitation and inadequate hygiene or chemicals.
  • It states how, every year, 570,000 children (under 5 years) die from respiratory infections, such as pneumonia, attributable to indoor and outdoor air pollution, and second-hand smoke.
  • In their first formative month of life, more than 270,000 children die from conditions that could be prevented through access to clean water, sanitation and clean air.
  • The report also covers an in-depth analysis of the prevalent situation and lists a series of Sustainable Development goals proposed by the United Nations, like ensuring sustainable management of water and sanitation for all, combatting climate change, etc.

What do parents think about pollution?

With staggering reports like these surfacing, every parent is concerned about letting their kids play outdoors and enjoying some free time with nature. Restricting them to indoors with air purifiers in every corner of the room seems to be the only solution for today’s worried parents. We got in conversation with parents in Delhi, who face the brunt of the pollution attack and watch what they had to say.

You may also like: Your one stop guide to everything about Delhi pollution

As parents, what is your take on this? How are we going to protect our kids from this epidemic and make sure we give them a cleaner and greener future? What are the steps the governments should take, in your opinion? Tell us in the comments below.

Images source: WHO

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