Children who develop the common cold but exposed to smoke at home five times more likely to be treated in the ER and had to be hospitalized longer than 70 percent of children who are not exposed to cigarettes.
“Because of the widespread habit of smoking in the house to the point that some people think it is not a big problem. But we still need to be vigilant in protecting children from smoking,” said Dr. Karen Wilson from Children’s Hospital Colorado in Aurora, who led the study.
The findings showed that 30 percent of children who are exposed to smoke need intensive care. While the children are not exposed to smoke only 10 percent require intensive care.
In addition, children exposed to secondhand smoke, and 13 percent had intubated, children who are not exposed and must be intubated number is only 1 percent.
Children exposed to secondhand smoke are also staying in the hospital longer than 70 percent of children who are not exposed, with an average length of stay of 4 days. The average length of stay of children not exposed to cigarette only 2 – 4 days.
Worse yet, if the child with the flu also suffer a chronic illness so long residence could reach an average of 10 days, while children who are not exposed to cigarette just average stay for 3 days.
Researchers also stressed the need for more in-depth screening when a child who has the flu should be taken to the ER.
“If your child had to be hospitalized to a hospital and was exposed to smoke at home then they are likely to suffer more severe disease. With more intensive screening, doctors can determine the right treatment,” said Wilson as quoted by Reuters health, Tuesday (04/09/2012).
Even so, for Wilson would be better if the children get preventive efforts so as not to get in the ER.
“It’s not smoke and to protect children from secondhand smoke does not necessarily prevent them from influenza, but at least the effort is to help prevent the serious complications that may be caused,” he concluded.
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