Dr. Hector N. Hernandez, M.D., P.A.
Dr. Hector N. Hernandez, M.D., P.A. Dr. Hector N. Hernandez, M.D., P.A.
Dr. Hector N. Hernandez, M.D., P.A.
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Protect Children from Secondhand Smoke


by Hector N. Hernandez, M.D., F.A.C.S.
 

Secondhand smoke, also called "environmental tobacco smoke," refers to the smoke given off by burning cigarettes and that which is exhaled by smokers. The American Academy of Otolaryngology has labeled such smoke a "dangerous health hazard." Moreover, it reports that more than half of all the children in this country under the age of five live in homes with a smoker.

Most people are familiar with the common (and for a long time now, required) warning that smoking is not advisable for pregnant women. There has also been a fair amount of press regarding the unexplained link between maternal smoking and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, a major cause of death in infants. There has not been enough attention given, however, to the other health risks borne by children exposed to secondhand smoke.

Secondhand smoke has a negative impact on a child's lungs, respiratory tract, and ears. The American Academy of Otolaryngology reports that secondhand smoke can have the following effects: promotes and aggravates asthma, increases likelihood of bronchitis and pneumonia in children under the age of two, increases colds and sore throats, and aggravates coughs, postnasal drip, cystic fibrosis, sinusitis, and rhinitis. Ear infections also increase in number and severity.

Given these alarming facts, parents should stop smoking (if not for their own sake, for the sake of their children). Or, at the very least, parents should refrain from smoking around their children. Parents should also do everything they can to protect their children from other smokers. If your children are in daycare, make sure the facility is smoke-free and that staff members do not smoke around the children.


Hector N. Hernandez, M.D., P.A.
Medicare Assignment Accepted - New Patients Welcome
21297-A Olean Boulevard Port Charlotte, Florida 33952
Phone: 941-764-0660


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2004 AAO-HNS/AAO-HNSF


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