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Can my 1year old eat food from a heavy smoking household?
My parents, her grandparents, are HEAVY chain smokers, and have smoked non-stop for over 20 years. This includes 9 years they have lived in their current home. The walls are brown, the carpet is stained, clothes come out of the washer/dryer smelling like an ashtray, and visitors can taste the smoke in the food they have. I try so hard to keep her from smoke, but now I'm afraid to even let her eat food from their house! At the same time, I'm torn because I'd be keeping her from eating dinner with her grandparent's when we're over there. Am I thinking correctly; will it harm her to eat the food that tastes like smoke?
If it actually tastes like smoke I'm going to assume that means they smoke in the house. If so, this is not a healthy environment for your child. I wouldn't eat food that tasted like smoke and your daughter shouldn't either. It probably means there are particles of smoke in the food. Those particles contain toxic substances that are dangerous for everyone, especially children. In all honesty, I wouldn't even let your parents hold your daughter. They will be covered in "third hand" smoke residues that will be transferred to your daughter. I've done a lot of research on the dangers of exposure to cigarette smoke and residues. It's highly toxic and can cause all sorts of health problems in children, even neurological damage. I have had to crack down on some of my family members who smoke. They are not allowed to touch my children after they smoke, no exceptions. It's not something I want my children around and it's for their own health and safety.
I actually saw a small third-hand smoke article in Parenting magazine, and that's what really got me thinking about this! I will probably refuse to let her eat their food anymore, but I'm not sure how well I can keep her away from the smoke on their clothes, hair, and skin. Like I said, they wash clothes and it comes out smelling like smoke. It's so soaked into every single inch of their home. It's so disgusting :(
I know it's hard because they're your parents and I'm sure you want their relationship with your daughter to be as close as possible. I'm sure they're not going to quit smoking now after doing for most of their lives, so I know there's not much you can do. Maybe try explaining just how toxic the smoke residues are and try to limit their physical contact with her.
I grew up in a smoking husehold, and as a result I now have asthma. I made sure my relatives didnt smoke around my children and I request that my husbands relatives also dont smoke either. Children dont get to speak for themseslves on this issue, so really, if you dont want them to have to be exposed to smoke and smoke filled food, youre going to have to bite the bullet and speak up gently but firmly. After all, you dont want bad feelings, but at the same time, you have to protect your childrens health.