By now, you should have known that even if you’re not a smoker, breaking in the smoke of someone who is smoking could be equally life-threatening. It’s what we call secondhand smoking, which has apparently led to over 3,000 deaths due to lung cancer and even more from heart conditions – and these are al nonsmoking people in America every year.
There are millions of adults and children that are currently inhaling secondhand smoke right in their homes. Secondhand smoke could be particularly dangerous to the health of our children, as their respiratory systems are still developing. If you are a parent that smokes, you are exposing your kids to secondhand smoke. If they are usually staying in a place where they are exposed to secondhand smoke, they are in more harm than you could realize. If you get out of your house to smoke, your children are still susceptible to chemical exposure. What’s the smartest method to protect your family from secondhand smoke exposure? Clearly, it is QUITTING.
Secondhand smoke is a type of smoke that a smoker exhales. This smoke arises from the tip of the smoker’s cigarettes, cigars, and pipes. This smoke is composed of nearly 4,000 chemicals and a lot of these chemicals are lethal to one’s health. In fact, over 50 are known to have caused cancer and other lung diseases. When children and adults inhale secondhand smoke, they are exposing themselves to these dangerous chemicals.
Secondhand Smoke And The Growing Baby
If you are a smoker or are unprotected from secondhand smoke and you are pregnant, your unborn baby is undoubtedly susceptible to dangerous chemicals too. This will often result in several life-threatening health conditions, including prematurity, low birth weight, miscarriage, learning disabilities, SIDS, and ADHD.
These health hazards increase the longer you smoke or are exposed to secondhand smoke. Stopping the habit when you are pregnant really helps, but for sure the sooner you quit, the better it is for you and your baby. It is safe to say that pregnant women must avoid secondhand smoke and straightforwardly tell a smoker not to smoke around you.
Secondhand Smoke And The Health Of Children
Babies are highly at risk of developing SIDS if their exposure to secondhand smoke is frequent and regular. Children as well have a greater risk of acquiring grave health conditions, or their existing problems could worsen. They could develop more coughs, colds, tooth problems, ear infections, and respiratory diseases like pneumonia and bronchitis.
If you try to observe children who have parents who smoke, you’ll see them wheeze and cough relatively more frequently than other kids. They also get over their colds or coughs slower than usual. This is why they miss more school days and present with similar symptoms like hoarseness of voice, sore throat, headaches, eye irritation, and stuffy nose. Finally, children who are asthmatic are very much affected by secondhand smoke. If they are frequently exposed to this, they will have more asthma attacks, which may become severe in the long-term.
Children with smoker parents are more likely to become smokers in the future, and they too will be at risk of developing the same health conditions that adult smokers are susceptible to having. Secondhand smoke could also result in conditions for children in the later years of their life, including lung cancer, cataract, and heart disease.
Children are can breathe in secondhand smoke in a lot of places. In fact, even if parents and other family members don’t smoke in the house, they are still susceptible to inhaling secondhand smoke. They could be exposed in school, on the bus, at a friend’s house, at their babysitter’s house, in playgrounds or parks, in restaurants, or at the malls.
Making Your Family’s Environment Smoke-Free
Be a role model. If you are a smoker, quit NOW. If your kids see you, they might be curious and attempt to try smoking, and eventually grow up smoking like you. Some children who see cigarette butts at home try to experiment with them and smoke them – that’s the initial step in becoming a smoker.
Create a smoke-free home. If you’re still not able to quit smoking, avoid smoking inside your home and anywhere your children are, even if you’re outdoors. Keep in mind that air is flowing throughout the whole house, so if you smoke in one room, the smoke goes everywhere around the house.
Don’t choose a sitter that smokes. Your babysitter may not smoke inside the house but as mentioned above, smoke anywhere near and around your house exposes your child to it. If you haven’t hired a sitter, choose someone that isn’t a smoker so you won’t have to lay out rules in smoking in the first place.
One of the best things you can do for you and your family’s health is to quit smoking. Quitting is crucial in preventing your kids from being exposed to the dangerous chemicals and side effects of secondhand smoke. Parents must exert effort in keeping their children protected from smokers and from secondhand smoke as well. And for parents who smoke, you must decide to quit NOW – before it’s too late.