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How harmful is third-hand smoke?

My mother-in-law smokes (but denies that she does). When our son was born seven months ago and came home from the hospital, we politely explained that even third-hand smoke can be harmful to babies.  We asked that she not be around our son after she's been smoking (she lives a mile away). Unfortunately, she's come to our house numerous times smelling like smoke--sometimes so strongly that our son smells of it when she leaves. Could this be harming him or should we just give up what seems to be a losing battle?

Submitted by cmsupalla

It can be a real challenge to tell a grandparent that there are things that are very important to you for your child's health. Since she lives nearby, bring her along to your son's next well child check-up and ask his pediatrician to explain the dangers of smoking (or even smoke on clothing) around a baby, such s increased risk of wheezing andrespiratory problems. Let the doctor be the bad guy--we are always there to advocate for kids!

The answers from our experts are for educational purposes only. Please always refer to your child's pediatrician and mental health expert for more in-depth advice.

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