OK people. If you have to smoke — even after hearing for decades about how bad smoking is for you — can you at least do it away from the kids?
A distressing new survey has found that — despite the ads, campaigns and regulations — alarming numbers of children are still exposed to secondhand smoke each day. According to national data from 2003 to 2010, half of all kids aged 6 to 19 have been exposed to secondhand smoke. Even kids with asthma.
The survey, published in the journal Academic Pediatrics, noted that young kids are particularly susceptible to health problems from exposure to secondhand smoke. Kids ages 6 to 11 that are exposed to even low levels of secondhand smoke had more missed school days and more trouble sleeping; experienced more wheezing; and were less physically active than their peers. And what did researchers define as "low-level" secondhand smoke exposure? That's when a parent or guardian routinely smokes in another room or even outside. When kids were exposed to secondhand smoke in the same room or in a car the health problems were magnified.
So what's the best way to limit your child's exposure to secondhand smoke? Not smoking or letting others smoke around them - even if they take their smokes outside. And limiting exposure from other sources — such as neighboring apartments — is also a good idea.
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