Smoking with Baby in a Stroller is Harmful and Here's Why from Personal Experience

Susanna Sisson's picture
Mother with Baby Stroller

Smoking around children is now illegal in most states. Smoking in restaurants was banned long ago and now there is a push toward banning smoking in parks. Smoking with baby in a stroller is harmful and here’s why from personal experience.

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Let me start with a couple of personal stories. When my youngest daughter, now 20 was a baby I was holding her while in the kitchen. I got distracted, was trying to deal with an irate husband, and didn’t realize I had a fork in my hand when I reached up to brush her hair out of her face and nearly put her eye out with the fork. I just wanted to make the point that while we may think nothing can happen because we’re careful, things DO happen. Ok, not a smoking story I realize but a good illustration of how things can happen. Just wait.

A few years later we took a family vacation to Disney World in Orlando, Florida. Actually my husband was living an hour away working on a job, so we flew out, stayed at the corporate condo, and drove over both days. The kids and I spent a miserable hour plus in the car breathing cigarette smoke even though he cracked his window. While he was flicking ashes they blew back into the back seat and burned my daughter’s shorts and leg. The next thing I heard was screaming. He felt bad but the damage was done.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, when we got to Disneyworld we spent most of the time there looking for a smoking area. I got stuck with my purse, the kids and stroller, and the camera bag. He spent hours of the day smoking rather than spending quality time with his family. It was an exhausting trip even one day but going twice turned into a nightmare.

The second day was a repeat of the first only I didn’t fall into the trap of carrying anything extra. The hubby still spent most of the day in between rides smoking, but he knew where the designated smoking areas were this time. He would be gone for about 20 minutes each hour. At one point I needed to go to the bathroom and asked him to take our daughter. He got into a conversation with another smoker and wasn’t paying attention. Once again the ashes got onto my daughter’s clothes and this time between her legs setting the stroller on fire. That pretty much ruined the Disney trip and stick a fork in me (pun intended) I was DONE. I think it’s a brilliant example of what if….

On the trip home I had a flashback to about age five. My mom was a heavy smoker despite being a nurse. I remembered running up to her to give her a hug and grabbing her around the top of the things and felt a hot burning sizzle in the middle of my forehead. Her cigarette that she was holding gave me a second degree burn. I went to kindergarten with a cigarette burn scar in the middle of my face. To add insult to injury she cut my waist long hair to make bangs to cover up the scar. Even writing this story brings back the memory of my burning flesh, my long hair gone, and the times my daughter got burned by careless behavior.

I have one more story. A few years ago, my deaf dog was in the back yard. He started barking and well unless there’s something really wrong he never barks. I opened the back door and was hit by a wall of smoke. I quickly assessed our house, ran to the front door and realized it was a neighbor’s house on fire. As it turns out one of their children was playing with cigarettes and set the house on fire. It burned to the ground, they lost their pet Chihuahua and everything they owned, had not renter’s insurance and were that night out on the street. I remember what the mom said to me, “you never think anything bad will happen to you.”

Good Reasons to Quit Smoking

1. Saving money – Cigarettes are expensive, especially if you have a bad habit. Add up how much you spend a year on cigarettes and I can almost guarantee it’s going to be several month’s rent or mortgage, multiple car payments, or could mean the difference between taking a vacation or not. Also, if you smoke your home and health insurance can be more than a non-smoker. Smokers often have to pay more to rent a place to live.

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2. Health – Smoking is the leading cause of preventable death in the United States. Smoking is a risk factor in developing many different health problems including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma, bronchitis, emphysema, heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, blood clots especially if you are on birth control, hearing loss, cavities, and cancer just to name a few. Smoking when on birth control raises your risk of stroke, heart attack and blood clots significantly. People who smoke don’t heal as quickly so if you have surgery your chance of spending more time in the hospital is increased. If you have a heart attack the chance of another if you smoke is about 100%, and if you’ve had a bypass and still smoke the chances of grafts failing are about 90%. Smoking during pregnancy is associated with premature births, causes lower birth weight, and predisposes your baby to health problems like asthma.

3. Monkey see, Monkey do – Children of smokers are more likely to smoke. Let’s face it, kids mimic what we do, whether it’s cursing, drinking, smoking or more positives like showing kindness and love. What you teach your children matters. You want to be around for your children and grandchildren so, stopping the habit is not only wise but a sign of love.

4. Second hand smoke is harmful – You may think smoking outside is fine but according to experts the risk for children and non-smokers is still an issues. The UK has already banned smoking in cars with children under the age of 18 and now are pushing to ban smoking in zoos, parks and other public places. In March 2017 the city of Minneapolis voted to ban all tobacco products in public places, a ban which took place in May.

5. Vanity – We all want to age gracefully but smoking takes a real toll on inside and out. People who smoke have wrinkles around the mouth and on the face much earlier than non-smokers. Toxins collect on the skin and cause breakdown of collagen. The good news is, quitting can start to reverse the signs of an aging face within two weeks

6. More energy – people who don’t smoke have more energy and stamina since they have better oxygenation.

7. Food tastes better – Giving up smoking changes your taste buds and food suddenly tastes better. You’ll be amazed once you quit.

8. Better job potential – Employers look at habits, not just work habits but how often you go out for a smoke and they do base their decisions on raises and promotions on whether you smoke. When people look at a smoker they automatically perceive you as unhealthy.

9. Easier to find a mate – Since smokers are in the minority, smoking lowers the dating pool substantially, so, if you smoke and are looking to date of have a long-term relationship or marriage you might want to rethink an unhealthy habit. Smokers make up about 20% of the population so you have a 1 in 5 chance of finding a smoking mate.

10. You won’t be offensive – Sorry but there’s nothing worse to a non-smoker than someone who reeks of cigarette smoke. It’s just gross and no amount of cologne covers up that smell.

Smoking used to be cool and now people tend to judge people who smoke as low-class and ignorant and categorize them as addicts. I was reading a post on Facebook and it got real, really fast when someone said that smoking with a baby in a stroller is harmful and looks totally trashy. On a more positive note, many states have implemented programs to help you beat the addiction and quit, so, if you’re thinking about stopping just google smoking cessation programs close to where you live to find help and support because you’re not in it alone.

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