By: Fernando Stein, MD, FAAP, President, American Academy of Pediatrics
"Climate change is an immediate threat to children in the United States and around the world, making President Trump's decision today to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement a dangerous step backward to protecting public health. This action signifies a detrimental reversal in our country's commitment to addressing global climate change. Our children, who are disproportionately vulnerable to the changing climate, will carry the weight of its consequences.
"According to the World Health Organization, more than 80% of the current health burden resulting from the changing climate occurs in children younger than 5 years old. Children breathe faster than adults, spend more time outside and have lungs that are still developing, meaning any environmental changes will have a more significant impact. For children who suffer from asthma, poor air quality can turn outdoor activity into a real risk to their health.
"Coupled with the Executive Order halting the Clean Power Plan, today's decision and other recent actions taken by President Trump and his administration overlook the direct connection between the state of our environment and children's health. As pediatricians, we urge our federal leaders to support strong policies that ensure clean, safe air for all children and families, no matter where they live; the future of communities in our country and across the globe depends on it."
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