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20 Jan 2022

Rising Temperatures Can Cause Increasing Health Problems among Children, Study Shows

The Index Today

A new study has found that climbing temperatures can lead to rising health risks among children. Researchers revealed that the number of children ending up in the emergency room increases during the late spring and summer months across the United States.

When it comes to expending heat from their bodies, children are at a marked disadvantage compared to adults due to varying body fat composition, surface areas, and hydration. Dr. Aaron Bernstein of the Boston Children’s Hospital said, “We’ve run into trouble previously assuming that children are little adults.”

However, in stark contrast to previously held beliefs, the current study found that children experience different, usually worse, side-effects of excessive heat.

The study, published in Environmental Health Perspectives, is a conclusive analysis of medical data spanning nearly four million emergency room visits at 47 hospitals across the country during the late spring and summer months from 2016 to 2018. Researchers found that about 12% of the emergency visits were potentially due to heat-related health issues.

This study joins an expanding volume of research that point towards the adverse impacts of rising temperatures on vulnerable groups, comprising children and youth.

©Photo: Etienne Laurent/EPA, via Shutterstock

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