Children are losing sleep over climate change, survey reveals

Children are having NIGHTMARES about climate change with one in five saying they are losing sleep over the environmental crisis, survey reveals

  • Study surveyed 2,000 children in the UK from the ages of eight to 16
  • The poll found one in five are having bad dreams about climate change
  • Nearly 80% said the problem is very important to them
  • However, at least two in five do not trust adults to tackle the issues  

Gone are the days when children worried about monsters under their bed at night, now it is the climate crisis outside that is giving them nightmares.

A new survey reveals one in five children are having bad dreams about the environmental changes, with 17 percent reporting their concerns are affecting their sleeping and eating habits.

The poll also shows 80 percent say the problem was important to them and nearly half do not trust adults to tackle the long-term problems.

The study, conducted by BBC Newsround in collaboration with Savanta-ComRes, surveyed 2,000 children in the UK from the ages of eight to 16 in a bid to see just how the younger generation feels about the changes to our planet.

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A new survey reveals one in five children are having bad dreams about the environmental changes, with 17 percent reporting their concerns are affecting their sleeping and eating habits. The poll also shows 80 percent say the problem was important to them and nearly half do not trust adults to tackle the long-term problems

Over the past year, millions of young people have flooded the streets of cities around the world demanding political leaders take urgent steps to stop climate change, inspired by 17-year-old Swedish activist Greta Thunberg.

The BBC Newsround conducted the new survey to know understand how the young generation feels about the impact climate change could have on their future.

The poll found that 73 percent of the participants are in constant worry about the planet’s current state, including 22 percent who are ‘very worried’.

Many adults have noted that the disastrous effects may not become a reality for many years, but it seems our children may be the ones to suffer the consequences.

Over the past year, millions of young people have flooded the streets of cities around the world demanding political leaders take urgent steps to stop climate change, inspired by 17-year-old Swedish activist Greta Thunberg (pictured)

Almost three in five, about 58 percent, of children are concerned about what climate changes means for their future.

And approximately 19 percent shared they are having nightmares about the climate crisis.

When questioned about the action being taken by grown-ups to tackle the problem, a large number of children said they feel frustrated about the progress being made.

Emma Citron, a consultant clinical child psychologist, said that young people often find it difficult to come to terms with the scale of the problem of climate changes and what often seems like a lack of response shown by governments and world leaders.

‘Public figures like David Attenborough and Greta Thunberg have helped young people to voice their worries and we have to make sure that we as adults listen to them and … help them become involved in positive change,’ she said in a statement.

‘We all need to support them not to feel hopeless but rather to present to them hopeful and balanced messages about their futures and ensure that they get the right professional help if their anxiety is unduly high.’

The American Psychological Association has said it was aware of reports of growing ‘eco-anxiety’ in children, but research was needed to establish how common it was.

The poll also shows 80 percent say the issue was important to them and nearly half do not trust adults to tackle the long-term problems. The American Psychological Association has said it was aware of reports of growing ‘eco-anxiety’ in children, but research was needed to establish how common it was

Britain’s Oxford Dictionaries recorded a 4,290 percent increase in the term ‘eco-anxiety’ in 2019, particularly among young people.

In September 2019, millions of people including hundreds of thousands of schoolchildren took to the streets in 150 different countries for the largest climate protest in history.

Global Strike 4 Climate Change’ protesters were photographed in Australia, Indonesia, the Philippines, India, Bangladesh, Uganda, Kenya, the Solomon Island, Cyprus, Poland, Germany and London and those living in America joined later in the day.

The protests were part of a snowballing movement sparked by teenage activist Greta Thunberg’s school strikes outside the Swedish parliament.

It came ahead of a climate action summit in New York convened by UN secretary general Antonio Guterres to urge countries to up their climate efforts.

Much steeper measures are needed across the globe to prevent temperature rises of more than 1.5C (2.7F) or 2C (3.6F) to avoid the worst impacts of climate change.

Newsround is a BBC news bulletin produced specifically for children which often features reports about climate change. 

 

 

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