A new report from the World Health Organization (WHO) suggests as many as 93 per cent of children under the age of 15 years are exposed to polluted air on a daily basis.
The Air pollution and child health: prescribing clean air report examines the toll of both ambient and household air pollution on the health of the world’s children, particularly in low- and middle-income countries.
It found approximately 600,000 deaths in children under 15 years of age were attributed to the joint effects of ambient and household air pollution in 2016, with more than one in every four deaths among children under five years directly or indirectly related to environmental risks.
Ambient air pollution and household air pollution contributed to 543,000 deaths from respiratory tract infections in children under five years in 2016, according to the report.
The report provides a number of recommendations for healthcare professionals including educating families and patients about the risks of air pollution, prescribing solutions to air pollution-related problems including switching to clean household fuels, and advocating solutions to other sectors, policy- and decision-makers.