Our daughter is one-and-a-half years old and has been in daycare since she turned one. We have a couple of times experienced that her clothes and hair smelled of smoke/tobacco afterwards.

We have just found out that the person taking care of our daughter smokes, but, according to the person, only outside when the children are there. However, when the children are not there, the smoking is also inside.

When the clothes smells like that, we guess that our daughter also gets some kind of passive smoking, even though there might not be any smoking in the room when she is there.

We consider moving her to another place, if possible, since we will not risk her health by passive smoking.

Is this an overreaction? What would you do in such a case?

asked 09 Mar '10, 20:26

uncas's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%


Even the mere odour of cigarette smoke is very unpleasant and your child should not be subjected to it in my opinion. I personally do not think you are over reacting, even if the carer is not smoking in the presence of your child.

(10 Mar '10, 15:29) Emi

Thanks for the answers. We are moving her to another daycare...

(22 Mar '10, 19:08) uncas

There's smoking in the room when the kids aren't there? By what magical means do they suppose the harmful elements of the smoke are removed from the air before the kids are in the room?

I'd remove my child from that daycare immediately. Not only is the smoke harmful, but the oblivious nature of anybody who smokes in a room used for daycare is, in my opinion, circumstantial evidence that they are prone to huge lapses in judgment on other topics as well.

Here is some data from the EPA. And the obligatory Wikipedia entry.


answered 09 Mar '10, 20:55

lgritz's gravatar image

accept rate: 14%

The biggest problem with smoking inside is, that even if they open the windows to let the smoke out after they are finished (or keep them open while smoking), wall papers and fabric covered furniture take in some of the smoke and release it back into the air later. So +100 (if I could) on removing them immediately!

(14 Nov '10, 18:21) Alexander

It's not an overreaction, I'd move my child at the first doubt that something is happening.

You can't bargain with your children's health


answered 09 Mar '10, 20:38

JJJ's gravatar image

accept rate: 12%


The fact that she's coming home smelling of smoke means she's not getting a whiff now and then, but is being constantly exposed to second and third hand smoke.

Even if they only smoked outside, and cleaned the air perfectly each morning before opening, third hand smoke is still present and proves to be a significant danger to children:

When a cigarette burns, nicotine is released in the form of a vapor that collects and condenses on indoor surfaces such as walls, carpeting, drapes and furniture, where it can linger for months, said the study, which was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

"Our study shows that when this residual nicotine reacts with ambient nitrous acid it forms carcinogenic tobacco-specific nitrosamines, or TSNAs," said Hugo Destaillats, a corresponding author of the study.

The most likely human exposure to TSNAs is through either inhalation of dust or the contact of skin with carpet or clothes -- making third-hand smoke particularly dangerous to infants and toddlers.

"Dermal uptake of the nicotine through a child's skin is likely to occur when the smoker returns and if nitrous acid is in the air, which it usually is, then TSNAs will be formed."

It is NOT a safe environment for your child. Be sure to point out the studies and articles to the provider, and tell them why you are moving to another provider.


answered 09 Mar '10, 22:07

Adam%20Davis's gravatar image

Adam Davis
accept rate: 31%


I agree with all of the above, and for these reasons I would move my child, as soon as possible.

You also need to consider what example is being set for your child - if the provider is smoking outside while the children are there, that either means that your child is left unattended while the daycare provider smokes, or that she is outside too, and therefore observing a significant role model who is smoking.


answered 09 Mar '10, 23:43

Krista's gravatar image

accept rate: 18%


+1 for role model - that's very significant, IMHO.

(10 Mar '10, 06:12) brandstaetter

I agree. Similarly, I thought either a) they don't smoke during the day, so why not just quit or b) they smoke while your kids are there, and who's looking after the kids. I figure, if you can't give up smoking to become a daycare provider, you're not a dedicated daycare provider.

(10 Mar '10, 18:29) Scott ♦♦
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Asked: 09 Mar '10, 20:26

Seen: 5,037 times

Last updated: 09 Mar '10, 23:43