What do asthma, ear infections, respiratory tract irritation
and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) have in common? They're
all possible consequences of infant exposure to secondhand
A new study shows that the only way to truly protect infants
from tobacco smoke is to ban it entirely from the home. Researchers
from the University of Warwick in the United Kingdom measured
infant smoke exposure by testing the urine samples of infants
living in homes where they were exposed to tobacco smoke.
The study revealed that infants exposed to smoke had traces
of cotinine, a smoking-related chemical, in their bloodstream;
the higher the cotinine level, the greater the exposure. Various
preventative measures used to protect infants from smoke exposure,
including opening windows and not smoking in the same room,
only resulted in a slight decrease in smoke exposure.
may be the time to kick your smoking habit altogether - if
not for your own health, then for the health of your child.
As this study indicates, the only way to prevent your baby
from being exposed to the harmful effects of secondhand tobacco
smoke is to enact a 100 percent ban of smoking in your home.
If you still aren't convinced, or don't have a child, remember,
quitting smoking has many personal health benefits, including
decreased blood pressure; improved circulation; decreased
risk of heart attack and cancer; and an improved sense of
taste and smell.
Before you take that next puff, think about the effects it
will have on you and your child. If you can't quit on your
own, your doctor can help get you on a program that will work
Blackburn C, Spencer N, Bonas S, et al. Effect
of strategies to reduce exposure of infants to environmental
tobacco smoke in the home: cross-sectional survey. British
Medical Journal, Aug. 2, 2003: Volume 327, pp.257.
To learn more about pediatric health, go to www.chiroweb.com/find/archives/pediatrics.