Most people are aware of the bad effects of smoking, but they aren’t as aware of the negative effects of second-hand smoke. You may be okay with damaging your own health, but it’s never okay to put non-smokers through the same ordeal. This is especially true for parents who smoke around their children. The negative consequences of smoking are even harsher on children because they aren’t fully developed yet. In fact, smoke has the power to impact your child’s development in an irreversible way.
1. Why is second-hand bad for your kids?
The younger your kids are the more dangerous the smoke is for them. Babies and children have smaller airways than adults. On top of that, their airways are still in the stages of development. As well as that, their immune systems aren’t fully developed yet, either. Just think about how much you strive to protect your young kids of diseases and how much more sensitive they are to catching a cold than you are. It’s the same with second-hand smoke- they’re more vulnerable to it.
On top of all of this, toddlers and babies tend to spend a lot of time on the floor. At such a young age, they mostly explore the world with their mouths. It’s only natural for them to put toys and other interesting things they find on the floor in their mouths. That means they’re also at a higher risk of swallowing and breathing in toxins from even third-hand smoke. This is the smoking residue that stays on almost all areas where a person has smoked. Skin, hair, clothing, floors, and furniture, as well as your kids' toys are not immune to the residue one bit.
2. What is linked to second-hand smoking?
The negative effects of second-hand smoke for your children can be so severe that they may lead to premature death. The more common negative effects involve an increased risk of different dangerous diseases. The breathing and heart-rate of your child will be severely affected, which is the number one cause of sudden unexpected death in infancy. If you smoke during pregnancy, the risk is doubled.
As well as that, the second-hand smoke will affect and irritate the undeveloped airways of your child. This makes your child likely to develop severe health and lung problems. Asthma, bronchitis, ear infections, leukemia, pneumonia, tonsillitis, croup, and meningitis are all serious issues that can’t be solved in just one visit to the doctor. You put your child in direct danger for developing these illnesses when you regularly smoke in front of them.
3. How to reduce or quit smoking
If you’re really keeping your child’s best interest at heart, you’ll do everything you can to reduce or completely quit smoking. The latter option is the better one, but quitting is easier said than done, so it’s always a good idea to at least start reducing this bad habit until you eventually quit. The best way to do this is to switch from smoking cigarettes to vaping.
This is because vape pens and liquids don’t contain as much of the bad chemicals as traditional cigarettes do. Smoke doesn’t consist of just nicotine, but of a lot of other harmful chemicals that will definitely impact your child. With vaping, the risk is significantly reduced. If you get the best vape accessories out there, you’ll be even more sure that you’re reducing the risk for your child’s development. Better accessories are higher-quality and thus healthier. That being said, it’s still advisable not to vape in front of your child if you have another choice.
4. Tips to protect your kids further
You may be willing to quit or reduce smoking and not smoke in front of your child, but chances are you aren’t the only adult in their life with a nicotine problem. If so, it’s your job to educate others and help them understand why they should never smoke in front of children.
Having adults who don’t smoke around them is also a very good thing for the child, as they will be less likely to start smoking themselves when they grow up. If your country doesn’t regulate smoking in public, you should also avoid taking your child to places where you know people will be smoking while they’re still young.
As you can see, it’s not just a myth that second-hand smoke is bad for children. The little being you are raising is sensitive to the harsh elements of the world because they are simply still growing. As a parent, it’s your job to help them become strong and healthy people.
If not for yourself, you should quit smoking so your children are healthier. If that’s too much to ask, at least make sure never to smoke in front of them. You’ll thank yourself when they’re older and don’t have to deal with any serious consequences from second-hand smoke.