Caring for Our Childen, 3rd Edition (CFOC3)

Chapter 3: Health Promotion and Protection

3.4 Health Protection in Child Care

3.4.1 Tobacco and Drug Use

3.4.1.1: Use of Tobacco, Electronic Cigarettes, Alcohol, and Drugs

Frequently Asked Questions/CFOC3 Clarifications

Reference: 3.4.1.1

Date: 11/7/2012

Topic & Location:
Chapter 3
Health Promotion
Standard 3.4.1.1: Use of Tobacco, Alcohol, and Illegal Drugs

Question:
Should child care providers and other adults who have contact with children be allowed to smoke electronic cigarettes in the presence of children?

Answer:

Electronic cigarettes, also known as e-cigarettes, are a fairly new alternative to traditional smoking cigarettes. E-cigarettes are battery-operated products designed to deliver nicotine, flavor and other chemicals. They turn nicotine, which is highly addictive, and other chemicals into a vapor that is inhaled by the user (U.S. FDA, 2012).

Currently, the research on the safety of this product is limited. However, the use of e-cigarettes would fall into the same category tobacco, alcohol, and illegal drugs products that are prohibited from being used on the premises of the program (both indoor and outdoor environments) and in any vehicles used by the program at all times. Additionally, children model adult behavior. Cigarette smoking in any form is not a healthy behavior.

U.S. FDA, 2013 article

Content in the STANDARD was modified on 1/12/2017.

 


The use of tobacco, electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes), alcohol, and drugs should be prohibited on the premises of the program (both indoor and outdoor environments), during work hours including breaks, and in any vehicles used by the program at all times. Caregivers/teachers should be prohibited from wearing clothing that smells of smoke when working or volunteering. The use of legal drugs (e.g. marijuana, prescribed narcotics, etc.) that have side effects that diminish the ability to property supervise and care for children or safely drive program vehicles should also be prohibited. 
RATIONALE
Scientific evidence has linked respiratory health risks to secondhand smoke. No children, especially those with respiratory problems, should be exposed to additional risk from the air they breathe. Infants and young children exposed to secondhand smoke are at risk of severe asthma; developing bronchitis, pneumonia, and middle ear infections when they experience common respiratory infections; and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) (1-6). Separation of smokers and nonsmokers within the same air space does not eliminate or minimize exposure of nonsmokers to secondhand smoke. Tobacco smoke contamination lingers after a cigarette is extinguished and children come in contact with the toxins (7). Thirdhand smoke exposure also presents hazards. Thirdhand smoke refers to gases and particles clinging to smokers’ hair and clothing, cushions and carpeting, and outdoor equipment, after tobacco smoke has dissipated (8). The residue includes heavy metals, carcinogens and radioactive materials that young children can get on their hands and ingest, especially if they’re crawling or playing on the floor. Residual toxins from smoking at times when the children are not using the space can trigger asthma and allergies when the children do use the space (2,3).

Cigarettes and materials used to light them also present a risk of burn or fire. In fact, cigarettes used by adults are the leading cause of ignition of fatal house fires (9).

Alcohol use, illegal and legal drug use, and misuse of prescription or over-the-counter (OTC) drugs prevent caregivers/teachers from providing appropriate care to infants and children by impairing motor coordination, judgment, and response time. Safe child care necessitates alert, unimpaired caregivers/teachers.

The use of alcoholic beverages and legal drugs in family child care homes after children are not in care is not prohibited, but these items should be safely stored at all times.

COMMENTS
The age, defenselessness, and dependence upon the judgment of caregivers/teachers of the children under care make this prohibition an absolute requirement.

As more states move toward legalizing marijuana use for recreational and/or medicinal purposes, it is important for caregivers/teachers to be aware of the impact marijuana used medicinally and/or recreationally has on their ability to provide safe care. Staff modeling of healthy and safe behavior at all times is essential to the care and education of young children. 
TYPE OF FACILITY
Center, Large Family Child Care Home
RELATED STANDARDS
5.2.9.1 Use and Storage of Toxic Substances
9.2.3.15 Policies Prohibiting Smoking, Tobacco, Alcohol, Illegal Drugs, and Toxic Substances
REFERENCES
  1. American Academy of Pediatrics Task Force on Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. SIDS and other sleep-related infant deaths: Updated 2016 recommenations for a safe infant sleeping environment. Pediatrics. 2016;138(6):e20162938.
    http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/early/2016/10/20/peds.2016-2938
  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 2016. Health effects of secondhand smoke. http://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/data_statistics/fact_sheets/secondhand_smoke/health_effects/
  3. American Academy of Pediatrics. Healthychildren.org. 2015. The dangers of secondhand smoke. https://www.healthychildren.org/English/health-issues/conditions/tobacco/Pages/Dangers-of-Secondhand-Smoke.aspx
  4. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. 2007. Children and secondhand smoke exposure. Excerpts from the health consequences of involuntary exposure to tobacco smoke: A report of the Surgeon General. Atlanta, GA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Coordinating Center for Health Promotion, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health.
  5. Schwartz, J., K. L. Timonen, J. Pekkanen. 2000. Respiratory effects of environmental tobacco smoke in a panel study of asthmatic and symptomatic children. Am J Resp Crit Care Med 161:802-6.
  6. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Health Consequences of Involuntary Exposure to Tobacco Smoke: A Report of the Surgeon General. Secondhand Smoke What It Means to You. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Coordinating Center for Health Promotion, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health, 2006. http://www.surgeongeneral.gov/library/reports/secondhand-smoke-consumer.pdf
  7. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Health Consequences of Involuntary Exposure to Tobacco Smoke: A Report of the Surgeon General. Secondhand Smoke What It Means to You. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Coordinating Center for Health Promotion, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health, 2006. http://www.surgeongeneral.gov/library/reports/secondhand-smoke-consumer.pdf.
  8. Winickoff, J. P., J. Friebely, S. E. Tanski, C. Sherrod, G. E. Matt, M. F. Hovell, R. C. McMillen. 2009. Beliefs about the health effects of “thirdhand” smoke and home smoking bans. Pediatrics 123: e74-e79.
  9. Dale, L. 2014. What is thirdhand smoke, and why is it a concern? http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/expert-answers/third-hand-smoke/faq-20057791
  10. ADDITIONAL REFERENCES:

    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 2009. Facts: Preventing residential fire injuries. http://www.cdc.gov/injury/pdfs/Fires2009CDCFactSheet-FINAL-a.pdf
     
    American Lung Association. E-cigarettes and Lung Health. 2016. http://www.lung.org/stop-smoking/smoking-facts/e-cigarettes-and-lung-health.html?referrer=https://www.google.com/.
     
    Children’s Hospital Colorado. 2016. Acute marijuana intoxication. https://www.childrenscolorado.org/conditions-and-advice/conditions-and-symptoms/conditions/acute-marijuana-intoxication/.
NOTES

Content in the STANDARD was modified on 1/12/2017.