A new report suggests global warming causes an increase in fevers among kids during the hottest days of the year. Researchers from the University of Sydney have monitored the first study that directly correlates global warming to the health of children.
• The study showed that rising temperatures cause an increase in emergency hospital visits for preschoolers. The main reasons for hospital visits are fever and gastroenteritis.
• The study links the increase in hospital visits to a less-developed ability for the brain to handle thermal regulation in young children.
• The study also found that rates of gastroenteritis were lower on days with a high UV factor present. The lead researcher, Dr. Lawrence Lam, suggested this is because UV rays "sterilize" the ground.
• Dr. Lam said that further investigation is needed to determine whether it is the increased heat or other heat-related elements -- such as pollution remaining in the air -- to determine the cause of the illness in the children.
• "It really demonstrates the urgent need for a more thorough investigation into how exactly climate change will affect health in childhood," Dr. Lam said.
• The study was published in the February issue of the International Journal of Environmental Health Research. The study is available online at this link.
• The full health implications of global warming have yet to be realized by modern scientists. While childrens' health may be impacted by temperature changes, the more frightening changes are bound to occur with crop production and food supply.
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