About 1 out of every 3 children lives in a home where someone smokes regularly. Children exposed to secondhand smoke are at increased risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), ear infections, colds, pneumonia, bronchitis, severe asthma, headaches, sore throats, dizziness, nausea, lack of energy, and fussiness. The younger the child, the greater the risk is.
Secondhand smoke is made up of two things:
Secondhand smoke is also called passive or involuntary smoking. It contains over 250 harmful chemicals; about 50 of these can cause cancer.
What you can do to protect your child from secondhand smoke
For more information, read "How can secondhand smoke harm my child?" from the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Scientists are debating whether BPA (bisphenol A) and phthalates pose a risk to children's health. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has expressed concerns about chemicals used in plastics. BPA is used to make plastics clear, strong and hard to break. Some baby bottles, dishes and toys contain this chemical. Some research has found that bisphenol A can affect the brain, behavior and prostate gland in infants and children.
If you're concerned, buy BPA-free plastic baby products. You can also use baby bottles made of glass, polypropylene or polyethylene. If you use plastics, avoid plastics numbered 3 or 7 (look for the number in a triangle typically found on the bottom of containers). Use plastics numbered 1, 2 and 4. If plastic baby bottles and infant cups contain BPA, discard them if they have scratches. Don't put boiling or very hot liquids, such as formula, into plastic bottles or containers that contain BPA.