World health organization

10 facts on children's environmental health

A young boy washes his hands with water from a tap
WHO/P. Merchez

Environmental factors are responsible for 88% of the 1.5 million annual child deaths year due to diarrhoea

Diarrhoea is the second leading cause of death among children under 5 years old. Diarrhoea causes nearly 1 in 5 deaths of children under 5 years resulting in 760 000 annual deaths. A large majority of these deaths are attributable to unsafe water, inadequate sanitation and poor hygiene. Treating and safely storing drinking water, hand washing, and exclusively breastfeeding young children can prevent diarrhoeal disease.

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