Joplin, MO- Cigarette smoke is bad enough for adults. But for kids, it's even worse. Dr. Dean Lasseter is a Freeman Pediatrician. He said, "We recognize, for children, it leaves them at increased risk for asthma. They'll have more ear infections. For young infants, it's a major contributor to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome or crib death."
Dr. Lasseter added there are other, more subtle problems. "And have greater impact long term. There were some studies that with the amount of carbon monoxide present in cigarette smoke that'll bind to a young child's blood cells and will affect their brain development. And so we see behavior problems, greater risk for ADHD or hyperactivity in children who are raised around cigarette smoke."
Dr. Lasseter said that the carcinogens can mean a lifelong increased risk for cancer. He tells parents it's best not to smoke around their children, and should ban cigarettes in the home even when they're not around. "The problem is that there's still going to be smoke that lingers in the air. And even opening windows, you're not going to get as much out, the parents aren't going to get as much out as they think."