Tobacco Smoke and School Absences

When children breathe in secondhand smoke, they’re more likely to have problems with asthma or come down with a cough or cold.  For school-age children, being exposed to tobacco smoke has been connected with health problems that include:

  • Ear infections
  • Bronchitis
  • Pneumonia
  • Wheezing
  • Coughing
  • Asthma

Each year, over 300,000 children suffer from infections caused by inhaling secondhand smoke.

When kids get sick, they miss school. A recent study published in the journal Pediatrics confirmed that kids who lived with one or more smokers miss more school each year than kids who don’t live with a smoker. 

No one wants to see their child get sick. Ear infections are painful. A bad asthma attack can put a child’s life in danger. Missing a few days of school may not seem like a big deal in comparison. But missing school can affect your family in ways you may not have thought about.

  • It’s no surprise that children who are frequently absent from school tend not to perform as well as their classmates.  Some studies have shown that over time missing school can slow down brain development and social growth.
  • When your child is home sick, you may have to miss work or find a source of childcare. That means lost wages. It is estimated that $227 million worth of caregiver time was missed in 2005 because of school absences caused by secondhand smoke. Having to miss work frequently may even put your job in danger.