Our school children come to school smelling like smoke. Could you please explain the dangers of parents smoking around their kids?
Secondhand smoke, also called passive smoking, can have terrible effects on kids. Children who are exposed to smoke have more ear infections, asthma, pneumonia, bronchitis and a respiratory virus called RSV, and they have these infections more frequently than children of non-smokers. Children exposed to smoke have lower lung capacity and slower lung development than the unexposed children.
Over the long term, these kids are also at increased risk of developing lung cancer and other conditions associated with smoking. What is more, they stand a much greater chance of becoming smokers themselves.
Many parents may be unwilling or unable to quit smoking. But if they understand the dangers to their child, they may at least be willing to stop smoking around their children and inside the home.
Make this information available to the parents of your students, and encourage them to smoke outdoors, at a distance from their kids, if indeed they must smoke. Also, remind the parents not to smoke in their cars.