March 25, 2008,
J.B. asks from Joliet, IL on February 28, 2008
My Kid Smells like Smoke, What Do I Say?
A friend of mine watches my son when I need her (for Doctor appointments, emergencies, etc) and every time I pick him up he smells like smoke...even his bag that I bring. The past two times I've taken him this has happened. How would you go about bringing this up to her? I have another baby on the way and I don't want either of them exposed to second-hand smoke this early in life. What would you say? Would you say anything at all or would you just find someone else to watch your kid/s??
So What Happened?™
Thank you everyone for your advice. I talked to another friend that just started doing daycare in her home and I decided to just ask her to watch my little guy when I need some help. I'm not going to bring it up to the other gal, I'm going to let it be -- unless she comes out and asks me why I'm not bringing him anymore.
J.S. answers from Chicago on February 29, 2008
It's great that she does you a favor, but I would find someone else. Like other posters said, even if she isn't smoking around your child, just being in that smoke-saturated environment is bad for his health.
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R. answers from Chicago on February 28, 2008
Tell your friend that you totally appreciate her help, but that the smoking is an issue for you. I can't believe people think it's still okay to smoke around kids! If she refuses to stop polluting her own house and your kids' lungs then I think it's time to find someone new.
Even my mother-in-law, who smokes two packs a day, will smoke outside when we come over or leave our daughter for overnight stays. It's just common sense!
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J.G. answers from Chicago on February 29, 2008
if she's a heavy smoker and usually smokes in her house....she may not actually be smoking in front of or around him. my family smokes and they smoke in the house, and even when they don't do it in while we are there, the house usually has the smell and sticks to every thing and everyone. if this is a close friend you might want to tell her that his clothes smell like smoke and that you would rather have her watch him in your house, but if she feels uncomfortable about that that you understand and will find someone else.
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J.R. answers from Chicago on February 29, 2008
I would find somebody else to watch the kids if at all feasible. My mother smoked 3 packs a day for many years, and when I was a single mom with two toddlers and no child support for help, and a low paying job to boot, she watched them for me. I hated that she smoked so much, but her rebuttle was always - 'i smoked with you guys and you turned out fine'. UGH! anyway, my 12 yr old daughter now has asthma and allergies something fierce. my 9 yr old has hearing loss from recurrent ear infections, and I thank God every day that they didn't succumb to SIDS for the amount of exposure they had.
it's so dangerous for him to be around the smoke... he is absorbing all of the chemicals through his lungs and skin. the nicotine and tar settles on furniture too... i remember cleaning my mothers house when she died, and literally getting nicotine poison symptoms for almost 2 days afterwards! it's way bigger than just the smell... keep your dear son and new baby out of that environment.
good luck to you...
M.O. answers from Chicago on February 29, 2008
Hi! As the last few posters said, unfortunately you are going to have to find someone else. Your child is essentially smoking 1 for every 4 cigarettes smoked in his/her presence (according to Dr. Oz on a recent Oprah) Its very dangerous to your child's health. I have an aunt (who is more like a grandma to my boys) and we have just recently made the decision that it is not worth the health risks to have them at her house. Now, I'm not one to tell my very dear aunt what to do in her own house, so I simply don't ask her to babysit. When we get together, she now comes to my house (I say its just so much easier for you because I have so much to bring. . .) or we meet for lunch or a shopping trip. To be honest, even if she smoked outside, the carpet where the kids would play and air in her house are so full of smoke that anything entering the house (purses, coats, my hair and clothes etc.) smell like smoke from only being there a very short time. Unfortunately, my aunt like many smokers do not "smell" that disgusting smell and think that smoking in the next room is "good enough" to keep the kids free from her smoke. (She has literally smoked 10 feet away in the kitchen while my kids are playing in her family room and commented on how she would never smoke with my kids near her . . .) It's tough to make the right decisions for our kids, but we are all they have. We have to keep them as healthy and safe as we possibly can. Good luck. I feel for you!
L.B. answers from Chicago on February 29, 2008
IF there is that much smoking going on there is nothing you can say that will change it~it is an intense addiction.
I would find someone else to watch my kids rather than risk their health.
J.C. answers from Chicago on February 28, 2008
I would simply find someone else. Unless this is something that had been agreed upon in the first place your friend has a right to do her thing in her house - though it's not in good taste. BUt either way I would just decide that it's not worth the health risk or the resentment risk. Good Luck.
L. answers from Chicago on February 29, 2008
I would say something but start out with how much you appreciate her help. I had the same issue with my mother-in-law. She wigged out on me because I said that I noticed our daughter smelled like smoke. She later apologized and now smokes in the garage. You are your child's best advocate so don't feel bad if that is what you have to do but also be prepared to find another sitter. I currantly don't leave our daughter at my in-laws unless I am there too.
D.C. answers from Chicago on March 25, 2008
I have dealt with my family's smoling my whole life. I am a non-smoker. So when I had my kids I simply told my family I wuld not be bringing the kids to any of their homes if they were inside smokers. My ex has Asthma, and I just refused to increase my kids' chances of getting it along with everything else secondhand smoke brings.
I would have a talk with her, but even if she agrees to smoke outside, her house is already filled with smoke residue. Could she watch your kids at your house and smoke outside if she absolutely had to? My sister was doing that here. She would come to my house to watch the kids, then when she needed to smoke she would sit outside and play games through the window with the kids so she could see them. I feel bad for you, I know how awful it is to smell smoke on anyone, especially your kids. Hopefully if this situation won't work for you, you will find an even better one down the road. Good luck, I hope it all works out.
S.W. answers from Chicago on February 29, 2008
did you go over this before hiring her is you wanted a smoker or nonsmoker?? Defiantely say something. better to find out now than later. ask yourself is this important to me? If yes then you need to say something. I work in a ped office and I can not tell you how sad I am when these newborns come in with respiratory issues and the smell of smoke. knowing what we know I dont understand why people continue to smoke. Yes, I used to smoke. It was so stupid and it saddens me that all my life I was exposed to it as well.
A.S. answers from Chicago on February 29, 2008
Even if she smokes in her house when your son isn't there he will still get second hand smoke just by being there. I would find someone else. Good Luck.