Parents tuned in on Oct. 1 to hear a panel of healthcare and climate specialists share their personal and professional insight on how climate change affects children’s health and how parents can help children deal with the outcomes. You can find links to each panellist's presentation next to their profiles below.
If you are short on time, watch this 5-minute highlight featuring a motivating discussion about why parents need to push elected representatives for change:
Here's how Marianne, team leader with Parents for the Planet/For Our Kids Ottawa-Gatineau, captured what she learned at the session.
About the speakers
Dr. Anna Gunz is a paediatric intensive care doctor at Children's Hospital, London Health Sciences Center and Assistant Professor at Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, Western University. Prior to medicine, she did a degree in geography, which essentially focused on the ecological, social, economic and political aspects of climate change. Recently, she has worked to align her interests, working on various research endeavors that strive to better understand the effects of climate change on child health, as well as improve healthcare facilities' understanding of necessary mitigation and adaptation measures.
Dr. Daniel Bierstone is a paediatric resident in his final year of training at Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO), Ottawa. He obtained his medical degree at the University of Toronto. Daniel has a special interest in healthy childhood development, Indigenous child health, and newcomer health. He is one of the resident leaders of a paediatric clinic held at the Centretown Community Health Centre and participates in weekly paediatric clinics at the Wabano Centre for Aboriginal Health in Ottawa. Daniel is a member of the Canadian Paediatric Society and the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment. He has written op-eds (like this one) on the importance of climate action for children's health, and lives in Ottawa with his wife, who is finishing her family medicine residency, and their three young children.
Dr. Warren Bell has been a family doctor for more than 40 years in Salmon Arm, BC, and is past founding president of Canadian Physicians for the Environment 25 years ago. He is engaged in advocacy work from the municipal to the international level. His integrative practice includes insight-oriented psychotherapy. As part of this panel discussion, he will present his perspective and evidence of the psychological effect of climate change on children, including the impact of family displacement from wildfires, floods and extreme weather events.
Andrea McDowell has worked in the environmental field on climate projects for over 20 years, most recently for a Public Health unit, and has been an environmental advocate and activist since high school. She is also a type 1 diabetic, and single parent to a disabled teenager.
Echo McDowell (they/them) is a disabled Dundas teenager who is passionate about human rights and being creative. Echo's presentation highlights the paradox of having the expertise and knowledge to deal with emergencies and disruptions, and at the same time having their voice overlooked in planning for and managing climate emergencies.
This session was co-hosted by MD Moms 4 Healthy Recovery and For Our Kids.
Helpful resources mentioned during the session: