Kids have long been interested in smoking ever since the pipe has retired. It is usually triggered by simple curiosity, peer pressure or the plain desire to look more mature, cooler or tougher. We are all aware of the dangers of smoking, especially for children, but because it’s embedded in our society, it is so difficult to rid our youth of smoking completely.
Although smoking has a constant list of effects on the human body, some of them are far more devastating when it comes to younger people. For unborn babies, pregnant women who smoke, put their child’s life on the line. Smoking may cause premature birth, low birth weight, mental retardation and even death due to SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) or miscarriage as the placenta detaches.
For toddlers and kids belonging to the age prior to lung maturity, smoking can lead to developmental problems in the brain and other internal organs, lowered immunity, asthma, respiratory and ear infections, growth issues and even cancer.
As for teens, studies have seen anxiety and behavioral problems. Aside from the usual health risks that adults are prone to, teens are more prone to total addiction and shorter life expectancies.
The best way to prevent the effects of smoking is by protecting your kids. Here are some safety measures to make sure they avoid smoking and that they aren’t hiding anything from you.
- Parents may start by talking. Make sure to confront your kids, but in a calm and non-threatening manner. Never impose or intimidate them with punishment or fear.
- It’s also important to constantly inform your kids of the dangers of smoking.
- Ask questions and get their opinions on smoking and what they think about it.
- Be patient and listen. Understand certain verbal and non-verbal cues and encourage your child to speak up.
- Be frank but gentle. Show your kids examples and images of the dangers of smoking, but try to be a little less graphical especially for younger kids.
- Respect their ideas.
- Help them find ways to respond to societal problems like peer pressure and second hand smoking.
- Set rules and guidelines at home. Try to provide rewards for good judgment and right actions.
Sometimes kids don’t always tell the truth, so be sure to check for cigarette smell on clothes and fingers, coughing, throat irritation, bad breath, higher risk for respiratory infection, stained teeth and difficulty in breathing. However, remember never to jump to any conclusions without proof or verification. Some drugs used for curing colds or reducing mucus and other underlying diseases may cause some of these symptoms, so always be sure to check.
Stay consistent and always support your children. Having dinner together and always being there when they need you are not only ways of showing how you care, but are also preventive measures to make sure that your kids stay away from smoking and other potentially dangerous activities.
No related posts.
Related posts brought to you by Yet Another Related Posts Plugin.