According to UNICEF, half of the children and young people in Europe and Central Asia are exposed to frequent heat waves. That's a total of around 92 million minors, as Unicef reported today.
By 2050 every child will be affected. The region includes 50 countries from Western Europe through Belarus, Ukraine and Turkey to Kazakhstan and Tajikistan. According to the analysis, about every fourth child in Germany is affected. The information relates to 2020.
Numerous negative effects
Babies and small children in particular are affected by the heat, the organization reported. Their body temperature rises faster and higher than that of adults. Children exposed to heat waves have an increased risk of developing allergies, asthma, cardiovascular disease or heat stroke. In addition, heat waves in pregnant women increase the risk of complications during childbirth. School children could concentrate less well in the heat. This affects their educational opportunities.
"The multiple negative impacts on the current and future health of so many of the region's children must prompt governments to urgently invest in mitigation and adaptation measures," said Regina de Dominicis, UNICEF's regional director for Europe and Central Asia .
Among other things, UNICEF called on governments to invest so that children and their families are better protected against heat waves and heat-related effects in children are recognized and treated at an early stage. Children should also learn about climate change and appropriate behaviors at an early age.