All parents want to keep their children safe from harm. As a parent, you want to make sure they become the best they can be in your care.
Parents who smoke cigarettes do have the same love and care for their children, but if they can’t stop smoking, they’re endangering their children. The many hazardous chemicals in cigarette smoke can cause irreparable damage to your children’s airways and general health.
Kids and infants can have respiratory infections and growth delays when they inhale secondhand smoke, alongside severe cases of asthma and breathing issues.
If you’re a parent, grandparent, or guardian who is still smoking, know that quitting today gives you and your children better lives.
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In this post, we will look at some of the dangerous effects of secondhand smoke on children if adults around them do not stop smoking.
Reduced Sense of Smell
Infants and children as young as 2 or 3 are still developing their five senses. One of the biggest dangers of secondhand tobacco smoke is how it can significantly damage the development of their sense of smell and taste.
The smoke irritates a young child’s olfactory receptors, which help them identify different odours through smell. If always exposed to cigarette smoke, their olfactory receptors can suffer from permanent long-term damage, forever altering or even shutting down their sense of smell.
Any damage to the sense of smell, especially in children, may not be restored. Indeed, the best preventative notion to avoid this is for parents to kick the habit for their sake.
Another major dangerous health effect of secondhand smoke on children is its effect on their physical and functional development.
Two-year-old children exposed to high levels of tobacco smoke indoors can suffer from major respiratory issues and poor cognitive development. Children with cognitive impairments find it more difficult to read, write, listen, and understand everything happening around them.
These young children will carry these issues until they grow up, limiting their ability to learn, care for themselves, and grow into their full potential.
No parent wants their child to have lung issues and be unable to develop their sense of learning at such a tender age. Any parent who understands this will strive to stop smoking for good.
Increased Risk of Bronchitis
Speaking of respiratory problems, your child is at a high risk of suffering from bronchitis at a young age due to secondhand smoke.
The unsafe chemicals in tobacco smoke that cause much more frequent bouts of bronchitis in adults also cause the same effect on young children. In fact, it’s much more dangerous for children because smoke is one of the biggest causes of chronic bronchitis in the developing lungs of young kids.
Chronic bronchitis occurs when the child’s bronchial tubes in the lungs get filled with smoke. The smoke irritates these tubes and causes inflammation, creating more mucus that makes it hard to breathe.
Children with recurring chronic bronchitis are also at a high risk of pneumonia, a bacterial infection of the lungs, which can lead to severe consequences without proper treatment.
High Likelihood of Childhood Asthma
Aside from the increased frequency of bronchitis and a higher risk of pneumonia, the developing lungs of young children are also in danger of recurring asthma attacks.
Smoke irritates a child’s airways, narrowing them and increasing mucus levels inside the lungs. When this happens, they may report their chest tightening and have difficulty breathing most of the time.
Ceasing smoking indoors and outdoors with children will prevent the likelihood of asthma and asthma attacks caused by cigarette smoke. There is strong evidence that continuous exposure to cigarette smoke is one of the primary causes of asthma attacks in very young children, toddlers, and teenagers.
It’s very clear, the passive secondhand smoke children inhale is extremely dangerous to their health.
Decreased Physical Fitness
People who smoke are typically at a lower level of physical fitness than those who do not. Smoking irritates and causes damage to a smoker’s lungs, reducing the body’s capacity to process oxygen.
Unfortunately, parents who smoke are also likely to have children who are in poor physical shape in comparison to their peers because their lungs have been damaged in the same way.
Children who live in smoking households are most likely to perform poorly in vigorous physical activities. If they were trying out for the rugby or basketball team, they could expect to have a subpar performance compared to their teammates.
Any smoking parent who wants to see their kids grow to their full potential should support them by kicking their smoking habit.
Parents are always prepared and vigilant about any danger to their children. After reading this post, smoking parents should have realised the immense dangers of cigarette smoke to kids and to themselves. By quitting today, you’ll have healthier children who have a chance to live their life to the fullest.
We understand that quitting smoking can be difficult even for the most loving parents. We know you’re reading this post because you want to know the dangerous consequences of smoking on your children, and because hopefully you want to stop smoking for good.
Smokefree Clinic gives you access to many medically reviewed and trustworthy resources that can inform and aid you in your path to wellness, so have a look around!
If you’re ready to get started, Smokefree can connect you to bulk-billing Australian healthcare professionals who excel in helping patients quit smoking for good, including using responsible vaping products where appropriate.
Click here to book your bulk-billed telehealth consultation with an Australian healthcare professional and quit smoking today.