Natural Disasters

Children face an amplified risk during and after natural disasters.

Mental health

When a child's life is interrupted due to a natural disaster, it can have lasting impacts on their mental health. Post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, and depression are all more common among people who underwent a stressful environmental event in their childhood. Children are less developed emotionally as well as physically, and are less able to cope with life changes posed by natural disasters.
Natural disasters might result in children's displacement from their homes, schools, or child care facilities. This can contribute to mental health concerns.

Reliance on adults

Because children and mentally and physically immature, they rely on adults to remove them from dangerous situations and ensure that they have adequate resources for survival. This puts them at a higher risk for injury and illness during natural disasters compared to adults.


Floods pose an immediate risk of drowning particularly for young children. Outside the immediate risks, floods can contaminate drinking water and damage sanitation services, increasing the risk of disease outbreaks in the water supply.

Flooding can also damage homes, schools, and infrastructure, endangering children's place of residence and access to education.


Droughts can lead to food insecurity from changes in crop patterns and rising food costs globally. In addition, droughts often result in dried out vegetation, which can provide fuel for wildfires and increase air pollution from ozone.