"It's just one smoke in the car and the baby is sleeping…."

File:No Smoking.svgI know of a lot of smoking parents who resoundingly refuse to smoke in their house, but seem to think that the car is an inconsequential smoking location.  Besides for the risk of accidentally flicking your child in the face with a hot or a butt that flies back in the car, second hand smoking in vehicles appears to be a significant risk raiser for moderate to severe bladder issues in children.

Dr. Joseph Barone, (associate professor of surgery at University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey and surgeon-in-chief of Bristol-Myers Squibb Children’s Hospital, led a study about second hand smoke exposure in children and the incidence of bladder issues.  The study was small and is still awaiting peer review, but is worth consideration.  I found the information about smoking in a car particularly interesting. It reviewed cases of children currently seeking care from pediatric urologists for bladder issues including suddenly needing to urinate unexpectedly or frequently and being unable to hold their urine.

Among the half of children who had moderate to severe symptoms, 50 percent had been exposed to cigarette smoke in a car (which was the largest link found,) and none of the children with mild symptoms  had been exposed to cigarette smoke in a car. The data revealed that symptoms worsened as the amount of cigarette smoke the child was exposed to increased, especially among children aged 4 to 10.

Now, second hand car smoke isn’t somehow more dangerous, I think it’s just that everyone knows you shouldn’t smoke in the house, but somehow the car seems less important.  I think that this perception is something that needs to change. I’m not about to tell adults to change their own behaviors for their own health, but did want to remind everyone, for the sake of the children… second-hand smoke is second-hand smoke, and if it affects bladders, the last staging area before leaving the body, it most assuredly affects the rest of the body as well.

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