Children who live with a smoker or have exposure to tobacco smoke inside the home become frequently ill and are more likely to have pediatric health care visits, including sick care, say researchers.
“Our findings indicate that tobacco smoke exposure has a significant impact on demand for health care services,” said lead study author Ashley Merianos from University of Cincinnati.
The team analysed 2011-2012 data from the National Survey on Children’s Health and looked at newborn to 17-years-old children, living with smokers compared with those who not exposed to tobacco smoke at home.
The results revealed a total of 24 percent of the children lived with smokers.
Children who live with smokers end up in the doctor’s office or hospital more often than those not exposed to tobacco smoke.
“Pediatric emergency departments could serve as effective outlets for health messages to inform caregivers about the dangers of smoking around children and help decrease these potentially preventable tobacco smoke exposure-related visits and associated costs,” Merianos added.
The study was presented at the Pediatric Academic Societies 2016 meeting in Baltimore recently.