Secondhand smoke may create behavioral issues in kids

As soon as you confirm your pregnancy, you're going to need to start taking precautionary measures to ensure healthy fetal development. Drinking alcohol and smoking cigarettes are some of the most obvious habits to avoid, but inhaling secondhand smoke deserves to be at the top of the list as well. New research shows that regularly inhaling the by-product of cigarettes can dramatically increase the risk of a child being born with behavioral issues.

A recent study looked at 600 pairs of mothers and children in China. They found that 37 percent of their subjects inhaled secondhand smoke while expecting. Out of this group, about 25 percent had kids who featured attention and aggression issues.

"Tobacco and nicotine are truly bad toxicants with lifelong consequences," Kim Yolton, a professor of pediatrics at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, told My Health News Daily. "Pregnant women need to protect that fetus from any level of smoking exposure."

It's worth noting that tobacco products created in China are known to carry three times the amount of heavy metals proven to cause behavioral problems in comparison to products made in Canada, according to a recent Canadian study. Different tobacco may skew the results of such research.

Avoiding secondhand smoke while pregnant
Most women make baby development a primary concern while expecting, but there are some environmental factors that can be difficult to avoid and may affect fetal health. For example, secondhand smoke can be found in many public areas. Women who inhale it while pregnant have a 20 percent risk of giving birth to a low-weight baby, according to the CDC. However, there are a few ways that women can steer clear of these toxins until their delivery date.

One strategy is to make the home a smoke-free zone, according to the Mayo Clinic. This can ensure that mother and baby have a safe place to breathe at all times. Another way moms-to-be can steer clear of secondhand smoke is to only frequent areas that are tobacco-free, such as certain bars and restaurants. These small tips can go a long way when it comes to avoiding hazards throughout the pregnancy calendar.

How have you made it through a pregnancy without inhaling secondhand smoke in the past? Do you find it challenging to stay away from these environmental hazards? Leave your feedback in the comments section!