Smoking in front of children; Now that’s child abuse. I can’t count how many times I see a young child in the office who is suffering the affects of second-hand smoke exposure from a parent(s) who smokes. Â
These include recurrent ear infections, chronic chest congestion with its subsequent cough, asthma, and increased sensitivity to Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV). The incidence of these diseases must be more than a hundred-fold compared to children of parents who don’t smoke.
The problem I have as a physician is convincing the offending parent(s) of the seriousness of this charge. One of the most common comebacks I hear is, “We don’t smoke in front of the children.” Frankly, that apparently doesn’t make much of a difference. The smoke clings to the parent’s hair and clothes and I can smell it when I walk into the exam room.
So if you smoke and have children, please ask for help. If you want to stop smokingÂ your physicianÂ can help. Love your children more than you love your own comfort and pleasure.