Recording available now, “Child Health Advocacy: Tools from the Lancet 2021 Countdown”


The Lancet Countdown: Tracking Progress on Health and Climate Change is an international research collaboration that monitors and reports annually on the relationship between health and climate and its implications for national governments. It was launched following the 2015 Lancet Commission on Health and Climate Change, which concluded that absolute climate change would undermine 50 years of public health benefits, but that responding to climate change could represent “the greatest opportunity for global health of the 21st century “.

The 2021 Lancet Countdown US letter was released on October 21, 2021. In our latest Let’s Talk Climate episode, we were joined by three pediatricians – Dr. Lisa Patel, Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Stanford School of Medicine; Dr. Aaron Bernstein, Acting Director of the Center for Global Climate, Health and Environment (C-CHANGE) at Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health; Other Dr. Rebecca Philipsborn, Assistant Professor, School of Medicine, Emory University – who were part of the writing team to discuss key findings and using this recent dataset to support children’s health in a changing climate.

This fun, inspiring and motivational conversation was about advocating for youth on climate, medical training, and engaging with colleagues on climate, health and equity. You can watch the full recording here.

We opened the conversation by reflecting on the importance of this annual report, with Dr. Philipsborn says, “This effort really helps to provide us doctors, science and help to lead to political discussions and make sure we are centering on health and centering on health equity.“She later built on this idea, recommending that healthy equity and systemic racism be more fully included in medical education to better treat and address the root cause of adverse health outcomes.” ‘air pollution and policies that have been structurally discriminatory and, and I think this type of education is crucial for a workforce that has to look after our children’s health because how can we address these inequities if we don’t address them if we are not taught about of them if you’re not trying to dismantle them? “

Each of our guests spoke touchingly about the climate impacts they are seeing in their regions and their pediatric patients. Dr. Patel focused on heat, fires and droughts in the west. “We think of the smoke from fires, we know that pollution has negative effects on health, some populations are more vulnerable and in particular children, pregnant women and the elderly. And then we need to think about the mental health impacts. I work with a school psychologist in Sonoma, where these kids have been evacuated so many times that she says that when children see smoke in the sky, they start crying and having panic attacks. “

Dr. Bernstein concluded the episode with the key insight, “We will never achieve health equity without climate action…. The cracks in society that inequalities represent are the same cracks that are ripped apart by shocks, be they climate shocks or pandemic shocks and leaving them exposed makes our challenges with the climate even more difficult … the climate must be seen as a foundation of health equity ».

Resources shared during the episode

Health ranked as the best motivator in supporting climate solutions

Climate solutions benefit children in environmental justice communities

Defenders of the climate: ten tips for self-care

Pediatric health societies support youth leadership on bold climate action

A Pediatrician’s Guide to Climate Change-Informed Primary Care

Association of Air Pollution and Heat Exposure with Preterm Birth, Low Birth Weight, and Stillbirth in the United States, Systematic Review

Disability and Disasters: A Path Towards More Inclusive Climate Solutions

The health effects of climate change EdX Course

Climate change and human health ECHO

Climate for Health Toolkit to move forward

APHA ECO Bookworms book club

Gas stoves: impacts and solutions on health and air quality

Mental health and climate change: impacts, implications and orientations:

New APA & ecoAmerica Mental Health Guide out November 4 at 2pm ET register for the launch webinar here


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