Secondhand Smoke Can Make Children Suffer Serious Health Risks
Breathing secondhand smoke can be harmful to children's health including asthma, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), bronchitis and pneumonia and ear infections.
Children's exposure to secondhand smoke is responsible for:
- increases in the number of asthma attacks and severity of symptoms in 200,000 to 1 million children with asthma;
- between 150,000 and 300,000 lower respiratory tract infections (for children under 18 months of age); and,
- respiratory tract infections resulting in 7,500 to 15,000 hospitalizations each year.
- EPA and HHS Partnering to Promote Smoke-free Homes for Head Start Families
- EPA and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Administration for Children and Families, Head Start Bureau are working together to improve the quality of life for nearly a million Head Start children by conducting nationwide secondhand smoke and asthma outreach. Read more about the EPA and HHS partnership and what you can do as a Head Start teacher, staff member or parent to help create Care for their Air: Promoting Smoke-free Homes for Head Start Families.
- The developing lungs of young children are severely affected by exposure to secondhand smoke for several reasons including that children are still developing physically, have higher breathing rates than adults, and have little control over their indoor environments. Children receiving high doses of secondhand smoke, such as those with smoking mothers, run the greatest risk of damaging health effects.