Thus, the exposure during pregnancy to pollution may act on fetal development and health, and thus influence the future health of the child. In addition, an increase in nitrogen compound levels (pollutants emitted from vehicles and some industries) in the environment aggravates the rhinovirus infections and brings more children with bronchiolitis to the ICU. In Barcelona, more than 50% of the cases of childhood asthma are due to the air pollution.
This is the decalogue of the Hospital Sant Joan de Déu to promote environmental health in mothers and children.
To know the consequences of climate change and its effects on children and pregnant women causes the person to be able to decide more consciously where he shops, eats, cooks, dresses and, ultimately, how he lives.
Reducing air pollution
For example, by reducing the use of motor vehicles and enhancing the active and sustainable mobility (on foot or by bicycle), because while we reduce the emission of particulate pollutants, we increased our physical activity and that of our children.
Pregnancy: a great opportunity
Pregnancy can be a good stage to adopt new healthy habits and avoid exposure to environmental hazards (such as food, cosmetics, cleaning products…) which may have negative consequences in the fetus and in future generations.
Moderating the animal consumption and basing our intake on plant-based, local and unprocessed foods, we can achieve a healthy diet while reducing the environmental impact it entails.
People spend between 80% and 90% of his time in enclosed spaces, inhaling different toxic substances that they themselves generate or are released by the fabric materials (such as dust, moisture, volatile organic compounds, etc.). A daily ventilation of a few minutes, also in the schools, can prevent this accumulation and its possible effects.
We have different consumption options of water to meet our needs (logistical, family and economic), so it is necessary to make the most appropriate use possible.
Contact with nature provides clear benefits to children’s health, especially in the area of mental health, and in the increase of physical activity.
An urban design aimed at noise reduction and the existence of. specific action plans are key to reducing acoustic risks to the health of cities. For example, the use of sound-reducing pavements, limit traffic volume, lowering speed limits or the promotion of green and quiet areas, among others.
Cities designed for people (with delimited spaces, green and blue zones and with public transportation as the main axis) allow for safer travel, easier, more pleasant and a healthier life.
“Small changes are powerful.”
As awareness of how to improve mendioenvironmental health is raised, people also see that much work remains to be done. It is important to take perspective and keep adding up small changes that are within reach, according to Faros, the observatory for health promotion of the Hospital Sant Joan de Déu Barcelona.