Second Hand Smoke Exposure and Long Term Effects on Children

smoking cigarette laying on ledge

Tobacco doesn’t have to be smoked in order to cause harm. When it is breathed out after the initial inhalation, it can affect other people who are in the close vicinity. When people breathe in second hand smoke, their health is put in danger. This is particularly true for children as they have a faster breathing rate meaning they are more at risk of developing complications from breathing in second hand smoke. When children are exposed, their health can be affected in many ways such as asthma and other lung related illnesses.

Asthma is exacerbated because of second hand smoke
Many children develop asthma naturally and grow out of it as they get older. When exposed to second hand smoke, a child can have asthma for much longer or their entire life. If a child is regularly exposed to second hand smoke, they can develop severe asthma that can stop them from playing with their friends because they are constantly wheezing. Asthma basically affects lower lung capacity and can restrict sufferers from leading an active life making them reliant on steroid inhalers to support their breathing.

In severe cases if a child develops asthma and their breathing becomes severely restricted, a catheter might have to be inserted into their tracheal tube. With machined catheter components produced from biocompatible materials, a catheter won’t react negatively to the human tissue that it comes into contact with. As catheter components are made from noble metals such as palladium, platinum and gold, it will cause minimal discomfort to a child.

b>Other respiratory problems
Asthma isn’t the only illness caused by second hand smoke exposure. Other long-term problems can occur such as bronchitis, croup and pneumonia. As a child can have these other respiratory problems for a long time, it can even result in death if not treated properly.

A loss of taste and smell
If exposed to excessive quantities of second hand smoke, a child can lose their sense of taste and smell. Children usually have a healthy appetite but if they are affected in this way, they won’t be able to enjoy their favourite meals causing them to lose weight at a time when they should be growing with the help of proper nutrition. Not only does it take a while to get these senses back even after exposure is stopped but permanent damage can be seen if the child has been subject to prolonged exposure.

Cancer can develop in various areas of a child’s body
Containing dozens of harmful chemicals that are proven to cause cancer, second hand smoke exposure can raise the chances of children getting lung, stomach and liver or even kidney cancer. This is an extreme reaction but proves that smoking in front of children, or anyone for that matter, should be kept to a minimum, as the effects can be life changing.

Image courtesy of Raul Leiberwirth via Creative Commons license, some rights reserved.

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