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Third hand smoke?

So, my mother watches my daughter for a few hours while I attend my (college) classes and she also sees her at other times in their home just for visits/fun (we live next door and my mom can't get enough of the little one, 18 months). Anyway, her house smells terribly of smoke and her person does too. She smokes inside, unventilated. Sometimes my SIL and sometimes my uncle come over and do the same. Also, lately we have been doing our laundry over there (broken) and sometimes the clean clothes get left there for a bit before we bring them over with all the rotating cylces and come home smelling of smoke. My mother NEVER smokes around my daughter but my daughter has toys/clothes/diapers/food/dishes inside her house for when she plays there. How worried should I be about the toxins in those items? What should I do? Quit school? Demand they stay outside the WHOLE time? Make them stay over here (much smaller)? And her body(hugs)?


Asked by Anonymous at 2:49 AM on Apr. 2, 2010 in Kids' Health

This question is closed.
Answers (4)
  • I whole-heartedly believe that the residuals from smoking is harmful to those that come into contact with it. However, you're in a tenuous situation since the smoking is not going on in your home, your mother is caring for your child (I'm assuming) free of charge, and is otherwise providing you vital assistance as you build and grow your life.

    I like your idea of all babysitting to be done at your home, so your child gets a clean environment. If your mother is so addicted that she must smoke during the day, she can do it outside. She may find it inconvenient enough that she will reduce the amount she smokes.

    As for your laundry, unless you want to use a laundromat, you may be out of luck until you can get your washer and dryer fixed.

    The best solution, of course, is for your mom to quit. Keep reminding your mom that smoking is going to shorten her time with your child because each puff takes life away.

    Answer by Busimommi at 5:25 AM on Apr. 2, 2010

  • I would keep my child completely away from that situation but that's just me. If you're daughter is really that important to her she'll make changes if not you know where she stands. There's no reason to gamble on your child's health. There have been studies on how it negatively effects children and to believe that it's harmless is naive. Also just because she's outside doesn't mean that smoking with her around is okay. It's absolutely 100% wrong. If it were me I would put my child's health above everything else because without that what do you really have?

    Answer by Anonymous at 2:59 AM on Apr. 2, 2010

  • First anon- my mom does not smoke around my daughter when they are outside, she does not smoke around her at all. I am only asking about residuals on her clothing and in her home. I have no idea HOW to keep us completely away from that "situation" as second reply pointed out she does provide free childcare while I am in college and she is otherwise a huge part of her life and loves my daughter. Even if I thought it wise to cut-off contact with her, we live right next door and moving is not financially possible right now. How do you suggest I keep her away? I could quit school I guess and never allow her to go into my mom's home again. Is that what you would do? Quit college and cut off contact with your mother? As I said, she never smokes in her presence, even outside, but I am worried about residues in the items.

    Answer by Anonymous at 5:22 PM on Apr. 3, 2010

  • Busimommi- thanks for the understanding and input. She doesn't smoke around my daughter at all, in or outside the home. They are outside a lot during the day but also go in her house for food and drinks, to cool off, etc. I guess I may just have to start demanding she watch her over here but I don't know how that will go. Our home is much smaller, just a trailer, and basically just two rooms- a "living area" and a bedroom, plus the closet-bathroom. Barring my daughter from her house even without the school thing would be hard since she is so used to spending time over there. The laundry thing is a huge concern and idk how to deal with that. Sigh.

    Answer by Anonymous at 5:26 PM on Apr. 3, 2010