TABLE 1

Climate Change Risks to Child Health According to Causal Pathway

Risk CategoryCausal Pathway
PrimaryMental and physical illness, injury, and death attributable to heat waves and extreme weather events
SecondaryHealth effects mediated by ecological changes, including altered life cycle of infectious disease vectors and host animals, increased concentration of air pollutants and aeroallergens because of rising temperature or wildfires, altered crop yields, and rainfall patterns
TertiaryLarge-scale consequences of unchecked climate change. Includes depletion of basic resources such as food and water, ecological loss, population displacement, failing communities, resulting tensions, and increased risk of conflict
  • Adapted from McMichael.18