Snoring in Kids Linked to Secondhand Smoke
When we hear the term ‘secondhand smoke,’ we often think of something that isn’t really that risky. We know that smoking is bad for you, but secondhand smoke isn’t really that big of a problem, right?
Well, as it turns out, nothing could be further from the truth.
We already know that secondhand smoke causes multiple different problems for children, from ear infections, to respiratory infections, to SIDS, to behavioral problems. It can even contribute to ADHD, and is linked to asthma.
But according to an analysis of research, researchers are now convinced that exposing children to secondhand smoke could also increase their risk for developing a snoring problem.
And that is not a problem to ignore!
The Problem with Children, Snoring, and Secondhand Smoke
To be honest, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that secondhand smoke has been linked to snoring (and other problems) in children. We have been seeing the hints of this forever, to the point where it is now illegal in many places to even smoke in a car if there are children in it.
But as innocent as it might seem, snoring is no joke; and if we can keep our children from acquiring a snoring problem, it could save them a lot of trouble over the course of their lives.
The problem with snoring is that it is only a hop and a skip away from obstructive sleep apnea, a condition that can cause a cessation of breathing during the night instead of just the usual ‘raspy grumbles’ associated with snoring. And OSA is linked to many different advanced medical risks, including high blood pressure, heart, disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes.
How Likely Is It?
So, how likely is a child to develop a snoring problem if he or she is exposed to secondhand smoke?
This is an important question, and the answer might surprise you.
According to research, studies indicated that children exposed to smoke while their mothers were pregnant were almost twice as likely to eventually become habitual snorers themselves.
After a child is born, if his/her mother smokes, they are about 87 percent more likely to snore than other children who were never exposed to cigarette smoke.
And other exposures to smoke also play a role. If a child’s father (or another parental/guardian figure) smokes in the home, that increases the child’s risk of snoring by 45 percent, and so on.
The research also pointed out that the younger a child is, the more susceptible they are to secondhand smoke and the negative consequences that it can produce.
What Can Be Done About It?
The obvious answer to this for parents (or anyone around children at all) is to stop smoking. Making sure that children are not around while the smoke is being created is a second alternative. Snoring may not seem like a big problem, but the health issues linked to it are actually pretty bad. In fact, snoring can be detrimental to the health and wellness of any human… much less to little children.
Imagine what those statistics would look like for a child whose mother smoked both before and after they were born, and what they would look like if the father smoked in the home as well.
It would actually be surprising if this child didn’t snore. And if the child snores, that puts them at risk for OSA, which puts them at risk for all kinds of different health and wellness problems on top of everything.
Plus, their quality of sleep will also be endangered; meaning that they will also have to deal with the likelihood of daytime drowsiness and all of the other possible side effects that come with that territory.
It is hard to stop smoking, but no child deserves such a statistical fate. Hopefully, this research will spur all smoking parents to take the hint, and to put their cigarettes out for good.