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How can secondhand smoke affect my child's health?

Do you smoke or live with someone who does? Are kids around? A new study shows that secondhand smoke doubles kids' risk of hearing loss.

Add it to this nasty list of secondhand smoke threats to kids:

  • Babies are at higher risk for sudden infant death syndrome, asthma and respiratory infections.
  • Young children are 167% more likely to have chronic, painful ear infections.
  • Boys are more likely to develop high blood pressure as adults and to get the heart and kidney disease that can follow.
  • Preteens are more likely to become smokers themselves.

That’s not all. Even if your kids are grown and gone, your other “babies”—the four-legged ones—can also get cancer, lung infections and respiratory problems from secondhand smoke.

Generally, exposure to smoking causes increased incidence of sickness in children. Most notably this is seen in children with respiratory problems such as asthma. The number of ear infections and colds are also known to be higher in children who are around parents who smoke.

Second-hand smoke is linked to increased colds, ear infections and asthma attacks in children.

Samantha Reid
Health Education Specialist

Secondhand smoke has been proven to cause cancer and other diseases in children. It is a leading cause of asthma-related hospitalizations and deaths. Research now says that “thirdhand smoke” in hair, clothes, drapery, rugs, cars, etc. is also harmful. So even if you smoke outside, when you go inside you are still bringing those toxins into your home and to your children.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.