Parents' Smoking Kills Kids

by Carleton Kendrick

|

Smoking's smallest victims
I knew smoking killed smokers. I didn't know parents who smoke could endanger their kids. 6,200 a year, according to a research study covering reports from 1980 to 1996 on children up to age 18. "More young children are killed by parental smoking than by all unintentional injuries combined," the study's researchers said. The study was conducted at the University of Wisconsin's Medical School and published in the July issue of the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine.

Death count breakdown
2,800 of these deaths are linked to low birthweight, the result of mothers smoking while pregnant. Approximately 2,000 of the deaths are due to sudden infant death syndrome caused by secondhand smoke. Another 1,000 are due to lung infections. 250 die from burns caused by cigarette-produced fires. 14 children die from asthma.

Pregnant smokers
Additionally, another study in July's Archives of General Psychiatry reported that pregnant women smokers are more disposed to give birth to boys who exhibit "conduct disorder," characterized by continuous antisocial behavior (fire-setting, vandalism, physical and sexual aggression, theft) that begins much sooner than most juvenile delinquency.

Kick it for your kids
As a psychotherapist, I've worked with many cigarette smokers in their attempts to quit smoking. Cigarette smoking is the toughest addiction I've worked with, tougher than alcohol, tougher than heroin. I've often counseled smokers to "quit for yourself, no one else, or else you'll never own the victory; the freedom will never truly be yours."

Now I can't think of all these kids who never should have died and still give the same advice. I'm now compelled to say, "Quit so your kids will be healthy, so they'll live!"

Let's clear the air
We at least owe our kids a chance at the healthiest life possible. It's their birthright. This isn't a guilt trip. It's a call to kick the habit that hurts you and that may seriously compromise your child's health. Each of those 6,200 kids had a right to live. With courage, dedication, and support, parents who smoke can kick the habit and give their children a healthy start in life and safe "family air" to breathe as they grow.

Read Carleton Kendrick's bio.

|

More on: Smoking


Pregnancy Day by Day

Tell us your due date to receive our daily newsletter and find out what is happening in this day of your pregnancy!

Already a member? Log-in here

August 30, 2014



Keep it hot (or cold)! No one likes cold soup or warm, wilted salad. Use a thermos or ice pack in your child's lunch box to help keep his lunch fresh until it's time to eat.

Name of the Day

stay connected

highlights

Join BIC on our mission to save handwriting and Fight For Your Write! Writing helps kids become better readers, boosts their confidence and sparks their creativity. Visit BICFightForYourWrite.com to sign our petition to save handwriting!

11 Coolest Lunch Boxes for Kids
Send your child's lunch to school in style! Check out our picks for the 11 best lunch boxes with great features from BPA-free accessories to spill-resistant fabric.

7 Important Back-to-School Safety Tips
Follow these back-to-school safety tips to make sure your child stays safe on the way to school, in the classroom, and while on the playground.

Kindergarten Readiness App Wins Gold
Our Kindergarten Readiness app won the Gold Award of Excellence in the educational category at the 2014 Communicator Awards. This valuable checklist comes with games and activities to help your child practice the essential skills she needs for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

© 2000-2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All Rights Reserved.