The Ontario Public Health Association has launched the campaign “make it better” which offers parents and concerned citizens insight into the realities of climate change, and the health concerns that come with it. There is also an online pledge that they’re asking people to take.

A big concern coming from climate change, according to OPHA, is the increased risk of Lyme Disease.

The reason for this is due to the fact that extended warmer seasons means the disease-carrying ticks survive longer and can travel further north without the cold killing them off. OPHA says that between 2009 and 2015, the number of Lyme cases in Ontario ballooned from 30 cases per year to more than 300 a year.

Another concern for children’s health is asthma. OPHA says that climate change means warmer and dryer seasons, which leads to more pollen, dust, and air pollution which can all trigger asthma in adults and children alike.

Heat as a whole is another factor driving the provincial body to create this pledge.

According to the association’s information, with the on-going effects of climate change, there are more and more extreme heat days. This means that children, who are the most at risk, can suffer heatstroke within hours and potentially die during extreme heat days.

“Without climate action, our health and quality of life will be significantly impacted,” the organization says. “A new approach is needed to bring the community together and work on solutions to climate change.”

The pledge can be found online.

Written by Phil McCabe