IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Global Climate Change and Child Health: A review of pathways, impacts and measures to improve the evidence base


  • David Parker
  • Yoko Akachi
  • Donna Goodman


This paper reviews the published evidence of pathways and impacts of global climate change on child health. The review was occasioned by the recognition that most of the work to date on climate change and health lacks clear focus on the children's dimension, while the climate change and children literature tends to be brief or imprecise on the complex health aspects. Studies were identified by searching the PubMed database for articles published before April 2009. Publications by agencies (e.g., UNICEF, WHO, IPPC) were also included based upon review. A list of references was developed that provide evidence to the linkages between climate change and health outcomes, and on specific health outcomes for children. The analysis explores the hypothesis of disproportionate vulnerability of children’s health to environmental factors, specifically those most closely related to climate change. Based upon scientific and policy research conducted to date there is found to be substantial evidence of disproportionate vulnerability of children in response to climate change. The diseases likely to be potentiated by climate change are already the primary causes of child morbidity and mortality, including vector-borne diseases, water-borne diseases and air-borne diseases. For this reason further research, assessment and monitoring of child health in respect to climate change is critical. Proposals are made for governments to integrate environmental health indicators into data collection in order to accurately assess the state of child health in relation to other age groups and its sensitivity to climate change.

Suggested Citation

  • David Parker & Yoko Akachi & Donna Goodman, 2009. "Global Climate Change and Child Health: A review of pathways, impacts and measures to improve the evidence base," Papers indipa09/5, Innocenti Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucf:indipa:indipa09/5

    Download full text from publisher

    To our knowledge, this item is not available for download. To find whether it is available, there are three options:
    1. Check below whether another version of this item is available online.
    2. Check on the provider's web page whether it is in fact available.
    3. Perform a search for a similarly titled item that would be available.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Frumkin, H. & Hess, J. & Luber, G. & Malilay, J. & McGeehin, M., 2008. "Climate change: The public health response," American Journal of Public Health, American Public Health Association, vol. 98(3), pages 435-445.
    2. Jonathan A. Patz & Diarmid Campbell-Lendrum & Tracey Holloway & Jonathan A. Foley, 2005. "Impact of regional climate change on human health," Nature, Nature, vol. 438(7066), pages 310-317, November.
    3. Van de Poel, Ellen & O'Donnell, Owen & Van Doorslaer, Eddy, 2007. "Are urban children really healthier? Evidence from 47 developing countries," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 65(10), pages 1986-2003, November.
    4. Roger Pielke & Gwyn Prins & Steve Rayner & Daniel Sarewitz, 2007. "Lifting the taboo on adaptation," Nature, Nature, vol. 445(7128), pages 597-598, February.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Zhiwei Xu & Perry E. Sheffield & Wenbiao Hu & Hong Su & Weiwei Yu & Xin Qi & Shilu Tong, 2012. "Climate Change and Children’s Health—A Call for Research on What Works to Protect Children," IJERPH, MDPI, vol. 9(9), pages 1-19, September.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Dobes Leo & Jotzo Frank & Stern David I., 2014. "The Economics of Global Climate Change: A Historical Literature Review," Review of Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 65(3), pages 281-320, December.
    2. Christopher Coutts & Micah Hahn, 2015. "Green Infrastructure, Ecosystem Services, and Human Health," IJERPH, MDPI, vol. 12(8), pages 1-31, August.
    3. Kate L. Bassil & Donald C. Cole, 2010. "Effectiveness of Public Health Interventions in Reducing Morbidity and Mortality during Heat Episodes: a Structured Review," IJERPH, MDPI, vol. 7(3), pages 1-11, March.
    4. Aleck Ostry & Malcolm Ogborn & Kate L. Bassil & Tim K. Takaro & Diana M. Allen, 2010. "Climate Change and Health in British Columbia: Projected Impacts and a Proposed Agenda for Adaptation Research and Policy," IJERPH, MDPI, vol. 7(3), pages 1-18, March.
    5. Shilu Tong & Peter Mather & Gerry Fitzgerald & David McRae & Ken Verrall & Dylan Walker, 2010. "Assessing the Vulnerability of Eco-Environmental Health to Climate Change," IJERPH, MDPI, vol. 7(2), pages 1-19, February.
    6. Tahseen Ajaz & Muhammad Tariq Majeed, 2018. "Changing Climate Patterns and Women Health: An Empirical Analysis of District Rawalpindi Pakistan," Global Social Sciences Review, Humanity Only, vol. 3(4), pages 320-342, December.
    7. Yating Zhao & Jingjing Guo & Chao Bao & Changyong Liang & Hemant K Jain, 2020. "Knowledge Graph Analysis of Human Health Research Related to Climate Change," IJERPH, MDPI, vol. 17(20), pages 1-19, October.
    8. Molini, A. & Talkner, P. & Katul, G.G. & Porporato, A., 2011. "First passage time statistics of Brownian motion with purely time dependent drift and diffusion," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 390(11), pages 1841-1852.
    9. Maurice Mutisya & Moses W. Ngware & Caroline W. Kabiru & Ngianga-bakwin Kandala, 2016. "The effect of education on household food security in two informal urban settlements in Kenya: a longitudinal analysis," Food Security: The Science, Sociology and Economics of Food Production and Access to Food, Springer;The International Society for Plant Pathology, vol. 8(4), pages 743-756, August.
    10. Denis Maragno & Michele Dalla Fontana & Francesco Musco, 2020. "Mapping Heat Stress Vulnerability and Risk Assessment at the Neighborhood Scale to Drive Urban Adaptation Planning," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 12(3), pages 1-16, February.
    11. Bing Li & Zhifeng Liu & Ying Nan & Shengnan Li & Yanmin Yang, 2018. "Comparative Analysis of Urban Heat Island Intensities in Chinese, Russian, and DPRK Regions across the Transnational Urban Agglomeration of the Tumen River in Northeast Asia," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 10(8), pages 1-16, July.
    12. Jonathan E. Suk & Kristie L. Ebi & David Vose & Willy Wint & Neil Alexander & Koen Mintiens & Jan C. Semenza, 2014. "Indicators for Tracking European Vulnerabilities to the Risks of Infectious Disease Transmission due to Climate Change," IJERPH, MDPI, vol. 11(2), pages 1-18, February.
    13. Stephanie E. Austin & Robbert Biesbroek & Lea Berrang-Ford & James D. Ford & Stephen Parker & Manon D. Fleury, 2016. "Public Health Adaptation to Climate Change in OECD Countries," IJERPH, MDPI, vol. 13(9), pages 1-20, September.
    14. Melissa Matlock & Suellen Hopfer & Oladele A. Ogunseitan, 2019. "Communicating Risk for a Climate-Sensitive Disease: A Case Study of Valley Fever in Central California," IJERPH, MDPI, vol. 16(18), pages 1-15, September.
    15. Michael Tong & Berhanu Wondmagegn & Jianjun Xiang & Alana Hansen & Keith Dear & Dino Pisaniello & Blesson Varghese & Jianguo Xiao & Le Jian & Benjamin Scalley & Monika Nitschke & John Nairn & Hilary B, 2022. "Hospitalization Costs of Respiratory Diseases Attributable to Temperature in Australia and Projections for Future Costs in the 2030s and 2050s under Climate Change," IJERPH, MDPI, vol. 19(15), pages 1-16, August.
    16. Nicolas Taconet & Aurélie Méjean & Céline Guivarch, 2020. "Influence of climate change impacts and mitigation costs on inequality between countries," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 160(1), pages 15-34, May.
    17. Jaewon Kwak & Huiseong Noh & Soojun Kim & Vijay P. Singh & Seung Jin Hong & Duckgil Kim & Keonhaeng Lee & Narae Kang & Hung Soo Kim, 2014. "Future Climate Data from RCP 4.5 and Occurrence of Malaria in Korea," IJERPH, MDPI, vol. 11(10), pages 1-19, October.
    18. Mariani, Fabio & Pérez-Barahona, Agustín & Raffin, Natacha, 2010. "Life expectancy and the environment," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 34(4), pages 798-815, April.
    19. Louise Bedsworth, 2012. "California’s local health agencies and the state’s climate adaptation strategy," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 111(1), pages 119-133, March.
    20. Anna Yusa & Peter Berry & June J.Cheng & Nicholas Ogden & Barrie Bonsal & Ronald Stewart & Ruth Waldick, 2015. "Climate Change, Drought and Human Health in Canada," IJERPH, MDPI, vol. 12(7), pages 1-54, July.

    More about this item


    child health; environmental degradation; environmental effects; malnutrition;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • Q25 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Water

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ucf:indipa:indipa09/5. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Patrizia Faustini (email available below). General contact details of provider: .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.