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Children and Climate Change: The Burden They Experience Now

Climate change is often described as a problem for future generations, for our children or even our children’s children. Though this may have been the case 50 years ago, when we were celebrating the first Earth Day and uncovering the dangers of human pollution, the “future” is here and our children are suffering now.

Today, evidence suggests that children disproportionately experience the burdens of climate change. Globally, more than 1 in 4 deaths a year in children worldwide - up to 5 years old - can be related to environmental risks, according to the World Health Organization. These issues are exacerbated by socioeconomic and racial inequities.

PSR PA’s newest board member, Dr. Steph Lee MD, MPH, FAAP, is leading the way in protecting our children’s health. Dr. Lee is a pediatrician with Penn State Health St Joseph’s in Reading and a preventive medicine specialist. In her recently published op-ed, Dr. Lee discusses the increased burdens on children, but also the tangible benefits that can come from a green transition and other preventative measures. She also released a guide on how to talk to children about climate change and, in a podcast, chats about how children can join the fight to save our planet.

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