Caring for My Kids in a Time of Climate Change

Laurie Cordova gardening with her children
  • May 1, 2019

The well-being of my children shapes every parenting decision I make.

It’s fairly straightforward to make good choices on their behalf at the grocery store, and to support their physical and mental health. Yet, how knowing how their environment factors into their long-term health is an unknown. Little mysteries present themselves to be solved, and my 9 year old son’s nosebleeds that occur while he sleeps are the latest.

This issue first surfaced a few years ago, and my hypothesis was that the humidity in my home was low, and my son was sensitive to dry air. We decided to install a whole house humidifier, and across the board, it improved my family’s skin and stopped my son’s nosebleeds. Now, a few years later, the nosebleeds are back, and my son isn’t the only one presenting these symptoms in his class, and I’m working with the school to test the air quality in the classrooms.

Every parent wants to feel like they’re doing as much as possible to give their kids a strong foundation, and while nosebleeds are minor, they’re a tangible example of how small changes to the air can physically disturb the human body. It’s rewarding to solve a problem for our children, but how do we do this in the context of climate change that is already affecting us across the globe with increased fires, storms, and glacier melting?

There is urgent work to be done at a global scale, but as a parent, what can you do to localize your effort and have an impact? To start, you can show up and support lawmakers who are taking immediate actions to fight climate change. When looking for things that you can directly control, switching to renewable energy and improving local air quality are choices we can make within our homes, while also advocating for clean air and other environmentally responsible choices at schools and places of business. Living in a time of an uncertain future with a changing climate raises the bar for parenting more than any other time in history.  

With climate change, we’re fighting our most important battle on behalf of future generations. Using my decision-making power to help create a healthier world gives me hope.

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