Tips on How to Protect Kids From Second-Hand Smoke

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Macro shot with full ashtray with lot of butts.Cigarettes are lethal and contain many harmful chemicals such as carbon monoxide, nicotine, and other human carcinogens. If one lights up within a room, the smoke becomes detectable in the whole house in a matter of minutes. Second-hand smoke is extremely risky for small babies. It impairs their lungs, makes them prone to ear infections and raises the risk of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome. It’s thus very important for one to safeguard their young baby from the risks associated with inhaling tobacco smoke.

Most of the chemicals that make secondhand smoke so risky stick to the surfaces of various objects within the home. This includes bottles, toys, clothes, walls, furniture and stainless steel. With time, the contaminants are released gradually back into the air, which is the same air that the baby breathes. The child could also become exposed if they put contaminated objects in their mouth or sleeps on beddings that harbor tobacco smoke pollutants. There are various ways through which one can eliminate such risks.

Quit Smoking

This applies to both the individual and anyone else in the household that smokes. Though it’s a hard habit to drop, there are various benefits to quitting. One not only enjoys a cleaner home environment, but their kids will also not be prone to respiratory illnesses. It also reduces the chance of a household fire from leftover cigarette butts.

Smoke Outside

If one can’t just help it, then they need to keep their house smoke-free by puffing outdoors. One should make it a rule never to smoke inside their home, even when it’s raining or during winter. Puffing outdoors means that the smoke naturally dissipates faster as compared to indoors. In fact, smoking inside a house is pretty similar to doing it in the car with the windows up, except that the impact is more evident in the car and more long term in the home.

One also needs to ask their guests to light up outside. It’s important to keep in mind that being one’s residence, one has the right to an environment that’s smoke-free. One thus needs to be polite but firm when letting their guests know that due to the presence of young children, smoking indoors is strictly prohibited. Babysitters should also be asked to refrain from smoking. This can prove difficult, especially when one asks their relatives or friends to babysit. One however needs to be firm for the sake of their children’s wellbeing.
One should also refrain from smoking in the car. This especially applies when there are children in the car. Even when they aren’t, one should still avoid it because the smoke residue lingers in the interior. Though some think rolling down a window would help, it may blow smoke directly into the child’s face.

Public Places

One needs to keep their children away from public places where people smoke. If one resides in an area where the law doesn’t prohibit people from smoking inside restaurants, one needs to look for establishments that enforce a no-smoking policy whenever they take their kids out to eat. This also applies for shows, concerts, entertainment places and other areas where people feel comfortable smoking. It’s important to note that even in places where smoking is prohibited indoors, most premises still allow people to puff on patios. One should thus ensure they take their kids indoors or away from tables with smokers.

Alternative Arrangements

This applies where one goes to places that allow smoking and they need to take their children there for some time. One must ensure that the kids aren’t exposed to the smoke in such environments. If this isn’t just possible, then alternative arrangements can be explored.

Additional Tips

It’s worth noting that air fresheners only work to mask the scent produced by cigarette smoke, rather than getting rid of it. Though filters work to suck up the foul odor, the harmful chemicals still linger. If one slips and smokes indoors or in the car, they need to thoroughly vacuum and clean the room or car by wiping the upholstery and leaving the windows open to allow fresh air in. All ashtrays should then be emptied and the garbage bag placed outside. The amount of cleaning effort involved may just be what convinces one that it would be easier to avoid smoking in the first place.
Shielding kids from second-hand smoke is very difficult, especially in a household that has smokers. It’s however very important to protect the kids from the harmful chemicals. In the end, it would be better to urge and support the smokers within the house to quit.