In a study published in the British medical journal "The Lancet", WHO notes that infant mortality factors in Europe they are indoor and outdoor air pollution, consumption of contaminated water, lead poisoning and injuries, mostly caused by accidents.
The main cause is injuries, mostly accidental, due to road crashes, especially in Western Europe. But not only do traffic accidents increase. A large number of children on the continent also lose their lives in fires, drowned, or poisoned.
For its part, air pollution kills up to 13,000 children under four years a year. Indoor air pollution, mainly caused by the use of solid fuels, takes the lives of more than 50,000 children a year.
In addition, in several countries in Central and Eastern Europe there are still schools where there is no drinking water and up to 20% of households have no access, which can expose children to high-risk diseases linked to diarrhea.
The report, titled "Environmental Burden on Diseases", has been prepared by the University of Udine and the Institute for Children Burlo Garofalo de Trieste (Italy). As we can see, the environment is focused, and states that if European households replace solid fuels with liquid or gaseous fuels, they could save the lives of more than 9,000 children a year.
It is also concluded that minors are more vulnerable than adults to environmental threats, so legislation that suits their needs is recommended. Next week there is a meeting in Budapest where the ministers from 52 countries meet and are expected to discuss these points.
As we can see, there are many fronts from which to act to reduce infant mortality, but there is a point where we can act in our daily lives in a simple way: the systematic use of child restraint systems for the car prevents many infant deaths.