Everyone knows that smoking is a bad habit. And there is more danger to secondhand smoking, especially to children, and below are the reasons why:
What is Secondhand Smoking?
Secondhand smoke is not sharing a cigarette. It is when you breathe the smoke coming out of the smoker’s breath. This could be from a cigarette, cigars, and pipes, all containing about 4,000 chemicals, which are cancer causing and dangerous.
Hence, even if your child is not smoking, he is still exposed to these harmful chemicals. The question is how.
Developing Baby and Secondhand Smoke
You might think that your little one is safe while inside your body. That may be true. However, exposing yourself to secondhand smoking while you are still carrying the bun means exposing him to harmful chemicals as well. This could lead to serious issues such as –
- Premature birth
- Baby born with low birth weight
- Sudden infant death syndrome or SIDS
- Learning and behavioural issues such as ADHD
Therefore, it is advisable to quit smoking the first time you find out that you are pregnant. Consequently, stay away from areas that are susceptible to second-hand smoking.
Secondhand Smoke and Kids
Say you quit smoking during the nine-month duration. However, this does not mean your child is safe against secondhand smoking. Otherwise, he might have any of the following conditions –
- Ear infections, which could lead to loss of hearing
- Colds and cough accompanied by sneezing, headache, and sore throat
- Respiratory conditions such as pneumonia and bronchitis
- Asthma, wherein second-hand smoke is a trigger and a major risk factors
- Heart disease
- Tooth decay
SIDS is also a possibility at this point, especially if your child is less than one year old. The risk of developing cancer is also high at this stage.
How to Create a Smoke-Free Environment
The good news is there is something you can do about second-hand smoking – and protect your child against harmful side effects. You can –
- If you are smoking, kick the habit. Encourage smokers inside your home to get rid of this habit as well. You will save your and the others’ health in the long run.
- Take all the smoke breaks outside your home or anywhere your child won’t be able to follow. This means no smoking in the car too, even if the windows are down.
- Your child’s day care center or school must be tobacco or cigarette-free.
- Refrain from bringing your child in areas where smoking is allowed.
- Choose a babysitter who does not smoke.
Studies show that second-hand smoking is also dangerous. By knowing the effects and doing these simple steps to create a smoke-free household, you will be able to save your child from the dangers of secondhand smoke.