Giving Compass' Take:

• Anna Altavas, at Seattle Children's, explains why combating climate change is essential for children's health now and in the future.

• How are you setting an example for young people in the fight to conserve the planet? What can we do to encourage others to combat climate change in their communities?

• Read about how young people are combating climate change with equity and urgency.

Seattle Children’s is committed to fulfilling its mission of treating the whole child, and with this comes the responsibility of understanding the facts, sharing our knowledge, and developing ways to combat climate change and the drastic impact it has on our health.

Children are especially vulnerable to the health effects of climate change, and as an organization, we are striving to minimize our carbon footprint and improve the health and well-being of our patients, families, workforce and our local and global community.

It is scientifically evident that with global warming, the Pacific Northwest region has been experiencing hotter days that have led to wildfires, higher streamflow in the winter and lower streamflow in the summer, reduced snowpack, prolonged drought, water shortages, increased heavy rain events and sea level rise.

That’s why teaching children about climate change is crucial in building a better future for generations to come.

“We need to communicate to our children the importance of natural life and how we depend on natural resources, which are finite,” Dr. Markus Boos, a climate change advocate and dermatologist at Seattle Children’s, said. “Children are drawn to a sense of ‘fairness’ in our world which is rooted in equity and justice, and without everyone doing their part to take care of our natural resources, our environment and health will suffer.”

As an example, Boos encourages parents and caregivers to share how the environment affects all of us.

“Talk about simple things like recycling, composting, why we should choose to walk instead of drive, and using reusable bags when we go shopping,” Boos said. “Be purposeful and intentional and model positive behavior that children will then follow.”

Read the full article about combating climate change for our children by Anna Altavas at Seattle Children's.