Climate change (CC) is one of the main contributors to health emergencies worldwide. CC appears to be closely interrelated with air pollution, as some pollutants like carbon dioxide (CO2), nitrogen oxides (NOx) and black carbon are naturally occurring greenhouse gases. Air pollution may enhance the allergenicity of some plants and, also, has an adverse effect on respiratory health. Children are a uniquely vulnerable group that suffers disproportionately from CC burden. The increasing global warming related to CC has a big impact on plants' lifecycles, with earlier and longer pollen seasons, as well as higher pollen production, putting children affected by asthma and allergic rhinitis at risk for exacerbations. Extreme weather events may play a role too, not only in the exacerbations of allergic respiratory diseases but, also, in favouring respiratory infections. Even though paediatricians are already seeing the impacts of CC on their patients, their knowledge about CC-related health outcomes with specific regards to children's respiratory health is incomplete. This advocates for paediatricians' increased awareness and a better understanding of the CC impact on children's respiratory health. Having a special responsibility for children, paediatricians should actively be involved in policies aimed to protect the next generation from CC-related adverse health effects. Hence, there is an urgent need for them to take action and successfully educate families about CC issues. This paper aims at reviewing the evidence of CC-related environmental factors such as temperature, humidity, rainfall and extreme events on respiratory allergic diseases and respiratory infections in children and proposing specific actionable items for paediatricians to deal with CC-related health issues in their clinical practice.
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis