With school starting up again, Tobacco Free Lancaster County Coalition encourages parents to make sure their children ride in smoke-free vehicles. Children who breathe secondhand smoke are more likely to get sick and have trouble learning in school.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, children who are exposed to secondhand smoke have increased risks of bronchitis and other respiratory infections, middle ear infections and more severe asthma. Smoke can also slow lung growth, with permanent consequences. It can make it more difficult to concentrate, too.
Smoke settles into seats, door panels and ceiling liners of vehicles. It re-enters the air for a long time afterward. Then it is called third-hand smoke. Breathing third-hand smoke is also dangerous.
Children are growing rapidly, their lungs and brains are developing and they breathe more air for their body sizes than adults do. All of those things put children at a greater risk for the health problems linked to smoke.
The only good answer is to keep the vehicle smoke-free. Rolling down a window does not eliminate the problem, because much of the smoke stays in the vehicle anyway.
Help your children have a good year at school by keeping your vehicles and their world smoke-free.
Story credit: Community Connections Tobacco Free Lincoln County