Alexandra Perkins, MD, MPH
Pragya Rai, MD
You can’t have healthy kids on a sick planet. There is overwhelming scientific consensus that human activity is causing the planet to warm dangerously fast, creating myriad downstream events. Forest fires and unbreathable smog in the summer months have become a routine phenomenon in Washington. With prolonged rainfalls in some areas and droughts in others, food insecurity is growing for many of the world’s children. Climate change is a risk multiplier, and thus the largest public health crisis of the 21st century. Its impacts will be felt most acutely by our pediatric patients.
As pediatricians, our first responsibility is to promote children’s health. That task will become increasingly difficult as the world around us undergoes a massive ecological transformation. Several Washington pediatricians have started an organization called Pediatricians for Climate Action, which seeks to educate and collaborate with providers and patients regarding the impact of climate change on children’s health. We hope to offer CME courses, webinars, and advocacy opportunities for all who are interested. We will work closely with the national AAP Council on Environmental Health, WCAAP, and other climate and health organizations to create guidelines and helpful materials for pediatricians regarding climate issues. Specific topic areas we will focus on include plant-based diets, climate fires, Washington state specific legislation regarding climate issues, and the climate and health co-benefits in creating a more sustainable society. There are countless climate solutions that are yet to be explored. Pediatricians, as trusted health professionals, can be powerful advocates for those solutions, within their professional organizations and at a policy level.
Children are our future. Our future on this earth is in peril. It is our moral obligation to leave a healthy planet for our future, our children. Please join us in creating a healthy planet for our kids! Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we will send you information about our next meeting, November 11 from 7:30-8:30PM – or just join us at the meeting: https://washington.zoom.us/j/92618803152