Second-hand smoke can affect your baby’s health

28 Nov 2018

Smoking poses a health risk to both smokers and non-smokers, and as such laws in South Africa have evolved to protect non-smokers. However, even passive smoking can increase your baby’s risk of developing allergy-related diseases, respiratory diseases, middle ear infections, colic and sudden infant death syndrome.

Smoking in the presence of your baby, young child, teenager or even a non-smoking adult will make them a passive smoker, which can affect your baby’s health in a number of ways. According to WebMD and eHealth News, the following effects can result from passive smoking:

  • Chronic cough
  • Ear, nose and throat infections are common for children under four-years-old who live in a household with smokers
  • Sudden infant death syndrome can result from constant exposure to cigarette smoke
  • Babies exposed to smoke in the home may be more restless and cry more
  • Babies can develop asthma in household where smoking takes place and in the occurrence of an asthma attack, the attack tends to be more severe
  • Eye infections are more frequent in babies who are exposed to smoke
  • Colic can occur more than usual
  • Smoking before your baby is born increases the chances of the infant being born with a cleft palate.

While it may be difficult to quit smoking altogether, you can draw up a smoking policy in the home to keep baby safe from harmful second-hand smoke. Try enforcing a rule that you and your guests may only smoke outside or under an extractor fan.

Find out more about how to quit smoking here. Do you have any helpful tips for people who would like to quit smoking?