Revista médica de Chile
versión impresa ISSN 0034-9887
PARIS M, Enrique et al. The relevance of environmental health and the scope of pediatric environmental health specialty units. Rev. méd. Chile [online]. 2009, vol.137, n.1, pp. 101-105. ISSN 0034-9887. doi: 10.4067/S0034-98872009000100016.
In the last decades there has been an important decrease in infant mobidity and mortality, but these achievements are not equally distributed across the whole population. Children are one of the most susceptible groups due to their unique vulnerabilities to environmental factors. Unhealthy environments, indoor pollution, poor drainage, inadequate waste disposal, and many others, are significant environmental risk factors to children. Currently, Chile is experiencing an advanced demographical transition, a situation that requires a precise approach to guarantee that the population has an adequate health status. It is important to take care of children, since their present health status will condition their health as adults. Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Units are structures specialized in pediatric conditions related to the environment, formed by an interdisciplinary and highly specialized team. These centers provide assistance, information and treatment, promote research, edúcate health care providers or the public, and report problems to authoríties. Health authoríties should emphasize the importance ofhavíng a safe environment for children and encourage efforts to reduce exposure to environmentalhazards promoting healthy behaviors, education and awareness at all levéis of society .
Palabras clave : Child; Delivery of health care; Environmental health; Infant.