Mum protects children from smoke

IN THE run up to Mother’s day, Smokefree North West and Steparoo, the Take 7 Steps Out mascot, have been out and about saying a big thank you to Morecambe mum Lyndsay Bryan for taking 7 Steps Out to protect her children from secondhand smoke.

Steparoo met mum of three Lyndsay last summer at Morecambes’s Take 7 Steps Out roadshow.

Lyndsay has three children and said: “It (smoke) sticks to everything, walls, curtains even teddy bears. You need to respect your child.

“If you smoke right near them you might as well give them a cigarette.”

The Take 7 Steps Out campaign, developed by Smokefree North West, urges all parents to be aware of the harm that secondhand smoke can cause to their children’s health and how they need to take at least 7 steps outside of the house to ensure that the smoke does not drift back in.

Steparoo has been spotted all over the North West in the past week encouraging mums to Take 7 Steps Out and leaving big footprints in her wake.

Helen Denton, Executive Director for Children and Young People, Lancashire County Council said: “Parents in the Lancashire clearly want the best for their children but unfortunately many are unaware of how much secondhand smoke affects their child’s health.

“There is no doubt that cigarette smoke harms children but most parents think that moving to another part of the room, opening a window in a car or house, or smoking just outside the door will prevent harm.

“It won’t, but just a small change such as to take 7 steps out of your home or not to smoke at all in the car, can make all the difference.

“This campaign aims to arm parents and carers with important information to help them make a good decision about their child’s well being.

“There is nothing more important than ensuring our children grow up safe and well and able to take part and enjoy all that life has to offer them.”

The good news is that the campaign has already had a positive effect.

After the first 5 weeks of the campaign last summer, 19% of the target audience said that they now go right outside to smoke to protect their children from secondhand smoke.

Julie Webster, Chair of Smokefree North West, said: “We have a duty to support parents with the best possible information.

“Parents and other family members may not know that many of the harmful chemicals in cigarette smoke are invisible, so standing by an open window or door is simply not enough to protect their children.

“We know the public are behind us – with almost nine in ten supporting more education for smokers who live with children.

“We are working in close partnership with partners across health, local authority and fire and rescue and believe this campaign can make a real difference to the lives of children across our region.

“You can log on at Take7 Steps Out for helpful tips and hints about how to make your home smokefree”

For more information about the campaign please visit www.take7stepsout.co.uk

Follow Steparoo’s blog at: http://steparoo.take7stepsout.co.uk