Also balcony smoking harms the baby

Passive smoking is bad for babies. Children dangerous! Most parents are aware of this, and in the family home, the majority refrain from smoking. Many parents escape for the cigarette in between but like to times before the door or on the balcony – in the belief to protect their child thereby from the nerve poison nicotine. But unfortunately this is not so!

Smoking on the balcony: Doesn't help!

Going out on the balcony to smoke protects children from the harmful substances of tobacco smoke: At first glance, this sounds like a good idea. Unfortunately far from it. Smoking outside is also dangerous for family members, especially for the little ones."Researchers have proven that the substances from the smoke adhere to hair and clothing and can also be found in the house dust of apartments, especially on carpets. Therefore, in smokers' households, children get bronchitis and pneumonia much more often than in non-smokers' households", warns Dr. Christiane Lex of the Gottingen University Hospital.

Also balcony smoking harms the baby

Unlike passive smoking, we are not talking about the dangerous nicotine that enters the lungs when inhaled, but about harmful substances that are transferred to the skin of babies through their clothes, for example. This is called "thirdhand smoke.

Scientists from the Institute for Hygiene and Biotechnology (IHB) at the Hohenstein Institute simulated smoking breaks on the balcony for their studies and then placed the smoky clothing on the skin of babies. Surprising but true: the nicotine was not only detectable in all layers of the babies' skin afterwards, it was even transported to deeper layers of the body.

The second question that has occupied the scientists in this context: Do the pollutants that are transferred this way have any detectable harmful effects at all? The results show quite clearly: The pollutants damage the skin and nerve cells massively.

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"Parents should be aware", Prof. explains. Dr. Dirk Hofer, Director of the Institute for Hygiene and Biotechnology at the Hohenstein Institute "that their own clothing can act as a carrier of pollutants from cigarette smoke." (Source: medizin-aspekte.en)

And these are not few in number: tobacco smoke contains more than 4.800 different substances, at least 250 of which are toxic and thus harmful to health. The dangerous toxins are not only transmitted to children through their clothing, but also through their hands or hair.

How can I protect my baby from the dangerous smoke?

Quitting smoking is certainly the best decision for fathers and mothers. Sometimes easier said than done! Still, there are ways that parents who smoke can reduce the health risk to their children: Doctors at the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) advise parents who smoke to buy special "smoking gear for the balcony.

If these clothes – preferably coat and cap – are worn only for smoking and then left on the balcony, many of the toxic substances will not be brought near baby in the first place.

Also important: be sure to wash your hands after smoking. And best after each cigarette break outside a few minutes to "air out", before you come back in and hold the baby in your arms again.

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