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Protect babies, kids from secondhand smoke

Protect babies, kids from secondhand smoke

There are more than 7,000 chemicals – many of them cancer-causing – in secondhand smoke. Because their bodies are small and still developing, infants and children are especially vulnerable to these poisons. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention remind parents (and grandparents) that:

  • Both babies whose mothers smoke while pregnant and babies who are exposed to secondhand smoke after birth are more likely to die from sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) than babies who are not exposed to cigarette smoke.
  • Mothers who are exposed to secondhand smoke while pregnant are more likely to have lower birth weight babies, which makes babies weaker and increases the risk for many health problems.
  • Secondhand smoke exposure causes acute lower respiratory infections such as bronchitis and pneumonia in infants and young children.
  • Secondhand smoke exposure causes children who already have asthma to experience more frequent and severe attacks.
  • Secondhand smoke exposure causes respiratory symptoms, including cough, phlegm, wheezing, and breathlessness, among school-aged children.
  • Children exposed to secondhand smoke are at increased risk for ear infections and are more likely to need an operation to insert ear tubes for drainage.

Helping your child have the healthiest start in life possible is the goal of King’s Daughters Ashland Pediatrics, pediatrician Aaron McGuffin, M.D., and nurse practitioner Laura Wells, APRN.

The practice is located in Suite 135 of the Medical Arts Building, 2301 Lexington Ave., directly across from the KDMC Emergency Department. New patients – and walk-ins – are welcome. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call the practice at (606) 408-8400.