Jakarta – Extreme hot and cold weather caused by climate change can affect children’s health, according to the Indonesian Pediatric Association (IDAI). Children are more vulnerable to exposure because they have different physical characteristics from adults.
Chairman of the IDAI Disaster Task Force, Kurniawan Taufiq Khadafi, explained that there are several things that make children vulnerable to climate change emergencies. Among them, the direct impact of climate change on children’s health occurs due to extreme changes in earth temperature.
“Extreme weather events that result in drought and forest fires, floods, or extreme precipitation processes can also affect children’s health,” said Khadafi in a virtual press conference with IDAI, early May.
In addition to hot weather, the earth’s extreme cold temperatures are also very risky, especially for infants aged 0-185 days, since hypothermia can cause death. The unique characteristics of children include inhaling a lot of air and easily absorbing harmful substances that may be contained in it. Children also play outside a lot and are not able to express complaints and can only cry when they feel discomfort. Parents will only find out when a child is already sick at an advanced phase.
They also require vaccination, selection, and calculation of drug doses that are different from adults. Children’s vulnerability to climate change is also inseparable from their unique characteristics. For the most part, children are physiologically very different compared to adults, and are not just miniature adults.
To address the special needs of children to the impacts of climate change, the researchers encourage the international consortium to develop medical protocols, including measures that can be adopted to address children’s unmet needs during climate-related natural disasters. This is one of the main factors that children are more easily exposed to the seriousness of climate change. (Hartatik)
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