• Editor-in-Chief

Is This Child Abuse?

By Laurn S.

Picture a young child obligated to live in a physically abusive household. With no real voice to scream for help, the child would deal with the adults' independent choices. Now, picture the parent or caregiver of the child not punching them repeatedly, but lighting up a cigarette or something worse in the same vicinity as the child. Is this child abuse?

America incarcerates parents for hitting children; however, they overlook parents killing their kids through second-hand smoke. Countries with free healthcare like Spain, Germany, Australia, and others made an effort to end their bond with tobacco manufacturers because the overall cost was too high. For instance, in Spain, smoking is banned in playgrounds and outdoor areas of healthcare and educational facilities. All Australian states and territories have banned smoking in vehicles with children. Great Britain has some of the most stringent smoking laws and penalties in the world.

The American Humane Association reports 62.8% of children experience neglect, 16.6% of children experience physical abuse, 9.3% of children suffer sexual abuse, 7.1% of children experience emotional/psychological abuse, and 2.0% experience medical neglect. Other forms of violence average 14.3%, which includes abandonment, threats to harm the child, congenital drug addiction, and different situations that might count as specific categories in NCANDS.

In 2005, child protective services (CPS) received an estimated 3.3 million referrals of child abuse or neglect. Eight hundred ninety-nine thousand children were confirmed to be victims of abuse or neglect (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2007). 12 out of every 1,000 children up to age 18 in the United States were victims of maltreatment. 

Chemicals found in tobacco smoke can damage DNA. Studies show benzo(a)pyrene damages a gene called p53, which normally protects cells from cancer. While polonium-210 becomes a concentrated hotspot in smokers’ airways, subjecting them to very high doses of high-energy alpha-radiation that damages the DNA of nearby cells.

Who is thinking about the children? What must happen before America takes action?

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