Secondhand Smoke Hikes Tots' Risk of Heart Disease

Dr. Devang Doshi, director of pediatric pulmonology, allergy and immunology at Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, Mich., said, "This study gives us more insight into the bad effects of secondhand smoke exposure from a respiratory and cardiac standpoint."

"A lot of people don't realize that when you smoke in the house, children are continuously exposed. It's always in the house; the smoke doesn't just go away," he added.

Doshi said his first advice to parents is to quit smoking. Failing that, he said he advises parents to go outside, away from the house to smoke, and to wear at least two layers of clothing. Then, when they come back in the house, he recommends removing the top layer of clothing and washing your hands to try to limit your child's exposure.

"Don't smoke," advised Groner, "and have a total ban on smoking around your child."

More information

To learn more about the effects of secondhand smoke, visit the American Lung Association.

SOURCES: Judith Groner, M.D., pediatrician and ambulatory care physician, and John Bauer, Ph.D., director, Center for Cardiovascular Medicine, Nationwide Children's Hospital and Research Institute, Columbus, Ohio; Devang Doshi, M.D., director, pediatric pulmonology, allergy and immunology, Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak, Mich.; March 13, 2008, presentation, American Heart Association Cardiovascular Disease Epidemiology and Prevention annual meeting, Colorado Springs, Colo.

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