Passive smoking refers to the smoke your child inhales by living in a household with people who smoke. If one parent smokes, that’s equivalent to your child smoking 30 or 40 cigarettes per year. Children of smokers have an elevated blood nicotine level.
I’m sure you’re well aware of the fact that smokers cough and wheeze more than other adults. The same is true for the children of smokers. In addition, they have a higher rate of ear infections, sinus infections, colds, asthma, croup, and pneumonia. All of these infections are more severe and last longer than they would if your child were not exposed to tobacco smoke.
For your child’s sake, try to give up smoking. Check out the stop smoking programs available in your community.
If you can’t give up smoking entirely at this point in your life, at least designate a smoking room in your house. Close the door to this room and keep a window open. Don’t smoke in other parts of the house. Also, don’t smoke in your car when your child is a passenger.
These simple measures will protect your child from most secondhand smoke.
During Dr. Schmitt’s 20 years as a medical practitioner and researcher, he has published over 100 articles or chapters on pediatric health care, and has been awarded the distinguished C. Anderson Aldrich Award by the American Academy of Pediatrics for outstanding contributions to the field of child development. Schmitt has also authored five books including Your Child’s Health, which won Child Magazine’s first Hall of Fame Award in 1991. Schmitt is also a professor of Pediatrics at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and on staff at The Children’s Hospital in Denver, Colorado.