No smoking in cars with kids!

Highland Shores Children’s Aid reminds all parents and caregivers that as of January 21, 2009 it is illegal in Ontario to light up a cigarette inside a vehicle with a child present.

This new legislation is an amendment to The Smoke Free Ontario Act which was enacted on May 31, 2006.  Under the law, a driver or passenger smoking in a motor vehicle, while someone under the age of 16 is present, is committing an offence, and can be fined up to $250.

Research shows that even under full ventilation – windows open and the fan on – smoking makes the air in the car at least 13 times dirtier than the air outside.  With no ventilation, the smoke particle concentrations reach levels as high as 300 times the outdoor levels.

Government research confirms children exposed to second hand smoke are more likely to suffer Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, acute respiratory infections, ear problems and more severe asthma.

Second hand smoke can also influence a child’s ability to reason and understand, and can negatively impact behaviour and attention span.

As part of the Society’s ongoing counseling process, and to assist children in care to adopt a healthy lifestyle, workers and foster parents are asked to actively encourage children in their care to refrain from the use of tobacco and tobacco products and emphasize the benefits of not smoking.