I came across an article titled, “Doctors Say Parents Shouldn’t Smoke Pot Around Kids” and in my head, I’m thinking, DUH! I feel like that states the obvious, but it does become more difficult to not expose your children now that marijuana is becoming more acceptable and legal (recreational and medicinal) around the world. I tried to compare it to when I have a drink when my kids are around. Alcohol is a mood-altering substance, and at one point was considered illegal when prohibition was declared.
When I first read the title of the article, I was thinking more of the ethical effects it could have in my parenting skills. I need to be able to stand on a leg when telling my children not to do drugs when they are older and if I’m smoking in front of them, how is that effective? Lead by example is how I was raised. As I read the article, I soon realized it wasn’t about the ethical concept, but more the physical effects it can cause children.
Dr. Karen Wilson, a pediatrician and lead author of a study involving 46 young children showed that it is possible for children to absorb chemicals from secondhand marijuana smoke. Although there are very limited studies out there specific to this demographic, there have been studies that show even the lowest concentrations of THC can cause developmental problems and impact motivation and memory in children in teens.
Clinical professor of pediatrics and adolescent medicine at Stanford University, Dr. Seth Ammerman, is concerned with these findings. He has a good point as he states, “We do know that anything you burn isn’t good to breathe in. Anything you burn creates smoke, which then contains tar and other toxic chemicals.” It is not wonder that marijuana along with tobacco smoke is concerning, especially when kids are inhaling these chemicals.
Although, I don’t expect this article or study to change or sway already established habits, if you cannot quit all the way, try a “healthier” or “safer” way of smoking and lessen the negative side effects second hand smoking can cause. Vaporizers help eliminate smoke-related toxins. It is important to understand that everything we do affects our children. We all want the best for them physically and emotionally.