Smoldering Threat

By Health Day

Secondhand smoke isn't good for anyone but it may cause extra health problems for these kids.

Almost one in four children in the United States lives with someone who smokes. Breathing in tobacco smoke raises the odds that kids will develop asthma and other lung problems.

In a new study, researchers compared the effects of secondhand smoke on young boys and girls. They gave the kids allergy tests several times starting when they were 2, then checked how well their lungs worked when they were 7.

Kids who breathed more secondhand smoke when they were preschoolers had worse lung function when they were 7. This was a particular problem for kids who also developed allergies.

The effect on the lungs was especially severe in girls who breathed in a lot of secondhand smoke and developed allergies.

According to the CDC, kids who breathe in their parents' smoke are also more likely to get ear infections. And babies who breathe secondhand smoke are more likely to die of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. That's why the CDC advises us to:

* Avoid smoking around babies and children

* Use smoke-free day-care centers for our kids

* And keep children out of public places where smoking is allowed.

I'm Dr. Cindy Haines of HealthDay TV, with the news that doctors are reading; health news that matters to you.

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