17% Of UK Kids 'Kept Awake At Night' By Climate Anxiety

'We have to make sure that we as adults listen to them and empower them'
Author:
Publish date:
Some UK children are being kept awake worrying about climate change, says the survey (Photo: Adobe. Do not use without permission) 

Some UK children are being kept awake worrying about climate change, says the survey (Photo: Adobe. Do not use without permission) 

Nearly one in five UK children (17 percent) say anxiety over the climate crisis is disrupting their sleep, according to a new survey by BBC Newsround.

The survey of more than 2,000 8-16 years old, which was carried out by Savanta-ComRes, asked participants about their feelings towards climate change.

'Anxiety and frustration'

According to the BBC, the poll 'revealed a sense of anxiety and frustration about what adults are doing about it' among kids.

Almost three quarters (73 percent) of respondents said they are worried about the state of the planet right now, with 22 percent of these children saying they are 'very' worried. Almost a fifth (17 percent) said this worry is disturbing their sleep, with 19 percent having had a bad dream about climate change.

More than half of respondents are worried about their future, with 58 percent saying they are worried about the impact that climate change will have on their lives. In addition, 80 percent said the problem of climate change was important to them.

When it comes to how adults are tackling the issue, 41 percent said they don't trust adults to tackle the climate change issue, with 59 percent saying they don't think their voices are being heard on the topic. A staggering 64 percent believe that 'people in power aren't listening to children's viewpoints and worries about the changing planet'.

Polar bear on melting ice

Young people are worried about their future  (Photo: Adobe. Do not use without permission)

'Clearly worried'

BBC Newsround spoke to child psychologists about the rise in eco-anxiety.

In a statement sent to Plant Based News, Emma Citron, a consultant clinical child psychologist based in London, said: "Young people are clearly worried about climate change and their futures as this survey reveals. 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 empower them by giving talks at school and in their communities to help them become involved in positive change.

"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."

'Determination to make their voices heard'

BBC Newsround editor Paul Plunkett, added: "We know that our audience are passionate about protecting the planet and the climate strikes in 2019 showed their determination to make their voices heard on environmental issues.

"The question the survey raises for parents and adults is how to show young people that, as a society, we are committed to addressing the challenges raised by climate change, because this survey suggests that at the moment - they aren't convinced we are."

Related