LANSING, Mich. — Children and infants who are around people who smoke are at risk of being impacted by secondhand smoke.
According to press release from the Ionia County Health Department, second-hand smoke contains more than 7,000 chemicals, hundreds of which are toxic and approximately 70 of which are known to cause cancer.
Second-hand smoke causes various health problems in infants and children including more frequent and sever asthma attacks, respiratory infections, ear infections and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), according to the health department.
The health department defines SIDS as the sudden, unexplained, unexpected death of an infant in the first year of life.
Smoking by women during pregnancy increases the risk for SIDS and infants exposed to second-hand smoke are also at greater risk for SIDS, according to the health department.
According to the Centers for Disease Control:
Chemicals in second-hand smoke appear to affect the brain in ways that interfere with the regulation of infant breathing.
Infants that have dies from SIDS had higher concentrations of nicotine in their lungs and higher levels of cotinine, a biological marker for second-hand smoke exposure, than infants that died from other causes.
Parents can help protect their babies from SIDS by taking the following actions:
Do not smoke when pregnant.
Do not smoke in the home or around the baby.
Do not allow anyone to smoke in your car, even with the windows down.
Make sure your childrens' day care centers and schools are tobacco free.
Look for public places that do NOT allow smoking – “no smoking sections” do not protect you or your
children from secondhand smoke.
Put the baby down to sleep on its back.
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