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 actively smoking 30 or 40 cigarettes per year. Children of smokers have an elevated blood nicotine level.
We're sure you're 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 second-hand smoke.
If you have other questions about the effects of passive smoking on your child, discuss them with your healthcare provider.
Disclaimer: This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. It is provided for educational purposes only. You assume full responsibility for how you choose to use this information.
Author and Senior Reviewer: Barton D. Schmitt, M.D. FAAP
Last Review: 6/1/2008
Last Revised: 6/1/2000
Copyright 1994-2008 Barton Schmitt, M.D. Parent Advice Messages.