Kids Who Live With Smokers Miss One More Extra Day Of School Than Others, But So What?

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A study has just come over the wires that reveals that kids who live with smokers are, on average, missing one extra day of school each year than those kids who grow up in non-smoking households. But a single day here and there isn’t enough to incentivize smoking parents to give up the bad habit.

Msnbc reports:

Researchers found that among nearly 3,100 families in a national survey, children who lived with smokers missed an extra day out of the school year, on average.

They also tended to have more ear infections and “chest colds” than their peers did, and that seemed to partly explain the link between household smoking and missed school days.

Waving absenteeism in the face of parents who smoke around their kids doesn’t carry much weight when all it boils down to is one measly day a year. One school day can be lost and gained in a single test score or in class performance. One day at school does not impact a child’s scholastic performance enough to warrant a headline, in my opinion.

But the researchers do point out an alternative angle — a financial one:

When children miss extra school days, the researchers say, it’s not only the child who may be affected. If a parent has to stay home from work, the family takes a financial hit.

The researchers estimate that the extra school absences linked to smoking cost parents $176 million in lost wages in 2005 — assuming a working parent stayed home each time a child was sick.

The money aside, chest colds and ear infections should be enough reason to kick smoking for your kids.