Pollution is one of the big environmental issues we are facing through these days. Everyone is affected by pollution whether it's a plant, animal or human. We all are facing many health issues due to pollution but our children are at high risk. The basic reason is that their organs such as lungs, respiratory organs, brain, etc. are not yet developed properly. They are in a growing period not fully grown up. Hence, they are majorly affected by pollution.
The atmosphere is polluted to such an extreme level that it is even affecting the child before his/her birth during pregnancy. Our children are inhaling the dirty air outdoor and indoor as well. Long term exposure to pollution increases the chances of infections in children causing various health issues. Here are some reasons that will explain why pollution is bad for our kids’ health.
Pollution affects children before they born
It has been found in studies that pollution is affecting children quite badly in the mother's womb. A huge amount of pollution particles increases the risk of premature babies. Pregnant women exposed to pollution (especially air pollution) can causes alterations in a baby's lung development. In some severe cases, pollution may cause low birth weight in new-born babies.
Pollution restrict the growth of lungs in children
Pollution not only causes health issues in kids before birth but it also causes health problems after birth. According to the research done on teenagers, it has been found that the children grown up in the more polluted area have reduced lung growth. The under-developed lung may not be recovered to full capacity in the future. Lower lung development is not only caused due to exposure to outdoor pollution but may also cause due to indoor pollution like smoking by family members.
Pollution may cause respiratory health problems
Now a day the level of pollution has been increased a lot in the atmosphere. Due to the high level of pollution, respiratory problems are quite common in children. Children with asthmatic issues are more susceptible to the bad effects of pollution. However, non-asthmatic children are also at high risk due to environmental pollution. It may cause childhood asthma causing long-term medication or hospitalization in some severe cases.
Alterations in children immunity
We all know that children have a lower level of immunity as compare to adults. Now just imagine if this lower level of immunity also gets affected by something called pollution. What will happen to the immune system of these young ones? The higher level of pollution in the atmosphere is showing alterations in cellular and humoral immunity in children. This is why children frequently fall sick due to lower immunity.
Pollution increases the risk of vitamin D-deficiency
Vitamin D is very important for the growth of our bone, especially children. The children who belong to highly polluted areas are more susceptible to vitamin D-deficiency syndrome. This syndrome is commonly known as "Rickets". This syndrome restricts the growth of children due to the scarcity of vitamin D.
Pollution affects brain development
Brain development is a major effect of environmental pollution. It not only affects the child before birth but also affects brain development later in childhood. Due to which the behavioral changes and cognitive problems can be observed in later childhood like toddler or teenage.
Obesity and diabetic problems
You may have observed that obesity is quite a common issue seen in most of the children today. It may sound a little weird to you but it has been found in some researches that pollution plays a vital role in childhood obesity. Pollution acts as a catalyst not only for obesity but diabetes in children also.
Frequent School Absenteeism
Day-to-day the amount of pollutants (like SO2, NO2, O3, etc.) is adding in the atmosphere. The risk factor for children’s health is also increasing simultaneously. Both short-term and long-term exposures in pollutants are causing many health problems in children now and then. As a result of which frequent school absenteeism is getting observed in children.
What can we do as a Human/Parent?
- Our children are the future generation. It is our responsibility to give them a pollution-free environment (or at least a less pollution environment) to breathe.
- To do so, we can plant more trees and support afforestation and can ask the local governing body to clean the sewage system and roads.
- As a parent, we can make our children understand the importance of environmental education so that in future he or she will help other people also.
- Environmental awareness is the necessity today because earth is not what it used to be 100 years before. Now there is more pollution in the air, water, and land.
- Not only children but innocent animals are also getting affected by it. Its high time that we move towards the earth before it is too late for our future generations as resources are limited and demand is unlimited by humans.
- We all need to put maximum efforts to make the environment less polluted for the healthy future of our children. Try to follow some global events like earth day and earth hour day to save resources and increase the health of the earth.
- You can join NGOs to help poor children by providing clothes and other needful resources to them. It’s good to do good for someone special when they are incapable of doing it.
- Help the environment help humanity.