Social Workers Take Custody of 2-Year-Old Over Parents' Smoking Habit

cigarette smoke

A toddler was taken from his parents due to the levels of cigarette smoke in their home. Which may sound extreme, but wait 'til you hear how much smoke we're talking about!

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Health official Julie Allen in East Yorkshire, England claimed she hadn't seen such a "visible cloud of smoke" inside a home in her entire 10-year career. Meanwhile, the 2-year-old boy was struggling to breathe, and needed an inhaler.

What's more, when two separate health officials voiced their concerns to the parents, they didn't seem to care, or appreciate the gravity of the situation. Discussions are afoot to place the boy up for adoption.

More from The Stir: Moms Who Smoke in the Car Deserve to Be Punished

As a mom whose husband smokes -- in spite of me ranting for years that he should stop -- I understand that smoking is hard to quit. So, I'm not about to say that parents should just stop smoking already, as if that's easy to do, because it isn't.

Still, though: What parent could watch their child struggling to breath in a cloud of smoke, and not decide "Hmm, maybe I should pop outside for a puff rather than blow it right in his face"? It's less the smoking that bothers me than the disregard these parents seem to have for the health of their kid.

It's a fact: Second-hand smoke leads to lung cancer, heart disease, and other health problems that kill about 3,000 non-smokers per year. And kids are particularly vulnerable since their lungs are still developing.

While all parents have a responsibility to monitor the health of their kids, I think smoking parents should be particularly vigilant. Think about it: If you were a parent who, say, works with asbestos and might bring it home on your clothes, you'd take added precautions (in terms of showers and laundry) to keep your kids from being exposed, right?

And smokers need to be especially careful, since if you're working with asbestos at least, that occurs outside your home. Smokers, on the other hand, are puffing away at home -- maybe even indoors. Smokers even have the option of going outside, so if they don't, I just have a hard time accepting that.

I sure hope this poor toddler starts breathing easier soon ... and that his story convinces at least a few smoking parents to rethink their habits.

How do you feel about parents who smoke around their kids?

 

Image via Bildagentur Zoonar GmbH/shutterstock

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