Pediatrician’s Perception of Air Pollution and its Impact on Children’s Health in Indonesia

The Open Public Health Journal 04 Oct 2023 RESEARCH ARTICLE DOI: 10.2174/18749445-v16-e230925-2023-108



Air pollution is an unseen threat to children's health as it increases the risk of respiratory infection by impairing immune responses to the respiratory tract. Nevertheless, health promotion emphasizing the impact of air pollution is not popular, even among health professionals. Therefore, this study aimed to explore the perceptions of paediatricians regarding its impact on children’s health in Indonesia.

Materials and Methods:

A cross-sectional design using an online questionnaire was employed in this study. It was composed of 30 items and divided into 4 sections, i.e. section 1 explored the demographic variables, section 2 measured the respondent’s information-seeking behavior on the issue of air pollution, section 3 measured the perception of issues related to air pollution and its impact on children’s health, and section 4 explored the respondent’s experience in practicing environmental health education with respect to their patients. Only completed surveys were analysed.


Of the 171 pediatricians who were accessed for the survey, 120 (70.2%) completed it. The majority of respondents (69%) resided in Java island and worked in urban areas (84%). About 41.7% of the respondents had little to no information on the impact of air pollution on children’s health. More than 80% of the respondents received information from scientific articles, followed by seminars (61.5%), the internet (53.8%), colleagues (30.7%), and workshops/training (17.3%). Nearly one-third of the respondents considered air quality as poor in their working environment. Almost all agreed that air pollution can affect children’s health and increase the risk of respiratory allergies and even the risk of skin allergies for children under two years of age. In daily practice, most respondents (53.3%) admitted that they never or rarely treated patients with diseases related to air pollution. About one-third of the respondents (36.7%) had never or rarely asked their patients about their living environment.


Pediatricians are aware of the impact of air pollution on the risk of respiratory allergies and infection, and therefore often provide environmental health education to patients. This study has reported that the majority of pediatricians in Indonesia have an understanding of the impact of air pollution on children’s health; however, there is still a lack of health promotion to be communicated to the patients and their families in their daily practice.

Keywords: Air pollution, Children’s health, Pediatrician, Respiratory, Skin allergies, Pediatricians.
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