Article at a Glance
It is fairly common knowledge that smoking can cause cancer and heart disease, but did you know that smoking around your children or while pregnant can cause behavioral problems?
Several studies have shown that early exposure to secondhand smoke and smoking during pregnancy can lead to behavioral problems, especially emotional and conduct disorders. One study from the Harvard School of Public Health found that being exposed to secondhand smoke made it 50 percent more likely that children would develop neurobehavioral disorders like ADD, ADHD, learning disabilities, and behavior disorders.
Children’s bodies are developing rapidly, putting them at a higher risk for adverse side effects. Animal studies have shown that the nicotine in secondhand smoke can have a neurotoxic effect on the brain. Other studies during pregnancy show that nicotine not only causes structural changes in the brain, but it can affect the growth of neurons.
Secondhand smoke also puts children at risk for lung infections, asthma, ear infections, and SIDS.
As a parent, you are in an excellent position to protect your child from secondhand smoke.
If you are struggling with the habit, contact us and we can help put you in contact with the resources you need. We understand how hard it is and are here to help, not judge.