NRS 434 Environmental Factors and Health Promotion Presentation: Accident Prevention and Safety
Promotion for Parents and Caregivers of Infants
NRS 434 Environmental Factors and Health Promotion Presentation Accident Prevention and Safety
Promotion for Parents and Caregivers of Infants
Infant health comprise of the vulnerable populations in our societies. They are vulnerable in that their immune systems have not developed to protect itself from infections and disease causing environmental exposures. As a result, the promotion of the optimum health of the infants is critical in nursing and healthcare. Nurses are anticipated to utilize evidence-based interventions to minimize the exposure of the infants to environmental hazards that could affect their health and growth. Environmental hazards such as tobacco smoke, air pollution, and chemicals have adverse health effects on infant’s growth. Therefore, this presentation explores the effects and prevention of infant exposure to tobacco smoke and its products.
Selected Environmental Factor: Tobacco Smoke Exposure to Infants
The selected environmental factor that affects the health and development of infants is tobacco smoke exposure. Exposure of infants to tobacco smoke is a critical public health concern. The exposure is indirect, as it arises from first hand smoking. The exposure of the infants to tobacco smoke can occur in utero or after birth. Irrespective of the exposure period, its effects on the health and development of the infants are significant. Public health interventions have been adopted to ensure the prevention and reduction in the rates of infant exposure to tobacco smoke. For example, health education has been used as a critical tool for creating awareness and stimulate positive behavioral change among the populations at risk of the problem (CDC, 2019).
Effect on Health and Safety of Infants
The exposure of infants to tobacco smoke either in utero or after birth have adverse effects. One of the effects due to in utero exposure to tobacco smoke is intrauterine growth restriction. Severe exposure of the developing fetus impairs its normal development leading to intrauterine growth restriction. The intrauterine exposure to smoke also impairs the supply of vital nutrients to organs such as brain and lungs, affecting their normal development. The risk of pregnancy complications also rises with tobacco smoking. Often tobacco smoking in pregnancy is associated with risks to the fetus such as miscarriage, preterm births, low birth weight babies, and sudden infant death syndrome. The complications arise from placental insufficiency. The exposure of the infants to smoke after birth increases their risk of developing upper respiratory tract infections and allergies due to their reaction to chemicals contained in the tobacco products (CDC, 2019, 2020).
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Promotion for Parents and Caregivers of Infants:
Infant exposure to tobacco smoke also increases their risk of developing heart disease. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that infants and children exposed to tobacco products are increasingly vulnerable to cardiovascular problems. The cardiovascular problems worsen with age, leading to more than 34000 premature deaths in the state. Infant exposure to tobacco smoke also predisposes them to asthmatic attacks. The asthmatic attacks are largely attributed to the irritation of the respiratory systems by the tobacco smoke and chemicals. The results include the inflammation of the airways and development of symptoms of asthmatic attack. Since infant have weak immunity, their predisposition to other infections such as ear infections is high. The above complications also contribute to a high rate of premature mortality among infants exposed to tobacco smoke (Pugmire et al., 2017).
Health Promotion Plan: Aims
The proposed health promotion plan focuses on the prevention of infant exposure to tobacco smoke. The target audience is the healthcare providers. The aims of health promotion plain are varied. One of them is to raise the level of awareness of the healthcare providers on the effects of infant exposure to tobacco smoke. The second aim is to increase the awareness of the healthcare providers on the roles they play in the reduction and prevention of infant exposure to tobacco smoke. The third objective is to help the healthcare providers to identity the evidence-based interventions they can adopt to prevent infant exposure to tobacco smoke and its effects.
Health Promotion Plan: Severity of the Problem
Infant exposure is a critical public health concern. The exposure of infants to tobacco has negative effects due to the harmful chemicals contained in the tobacco products. It is estimated that tobacco smoke and its products has more than 7000 chemicals. Of this chemicals, 70 of them have the high potential of causing cancer to its users and second hand smokers. The effects of the chemicals are also severe in infants due to their premature immunity. Exposure of infants to tobacco smoke also causes more than 1000 infant deaths on an annual basis in the US. The deaths are attributed to its effects such as sudden infant death syndrome, asthma, and recurrent upper respiratory tract infections. There is also the evidence that infant exposure to tobacco smoke causes 34000 premature mortalities due to cardiovascular effects of the smoke. The effects of tobacco smoke exposure can persist to adulthood in the affected children. This can be seen from the statistics that up to 60% of the infants and children exposed to tobacco smoke will grow to abuse tobacco products in their adulthood (CDC, 2019, 2020).
Health Promotion Plan: Methods
Healthcare providers can consider a number of interventions to prevent infant exposure to tobacco smoke. One of the interventions is health education. Healthcare providers can provide health education to parents, families and communities about the effects of infant exposure to tobacco smoke and ways of preventing and minimizing it. Health education will stimulate behavioral change among the population. The other intervention is advocating the creation of tobacco free environments in communities. The advocacy can exist in forms such as establishing tobacco smoking zones in communities and raising the taxes levied on tobacco products to discourage smoking. The other intervention is healthcare providers leading advocacy interventions aiming at imposing strict measures on tobacco smoking. Examples include banning of tobacco products and sale to vulnerable populations such as pregnant women. Pregnant women should also be educated on the negative effects of tobacco smoking to their health and that of the developing babies (Torres et al., 2019). The education will stimulate the desired change in behavior among the pregnant women.
Health Promotion Plan Evaluation
The health promotion plain aiming at addressing the issue of tobacco smoke exposure to infants should be evaluated. The evaluation provides insights into the effectiveness of the interventions that were adopted to address the issue. One of the ways in which the plan can be evaluated is by focusing on the changes in rates of tobacco smoking in the community. A reduction in the rate of tobacco smoking in the community will translate into the effectiveness of the adopted interventions. The other approach is evaluating the number of infants exposed to tobacco smoke. Healthcare providers can analyze their data to determine changes in trends. The rate of tobacco smoking among pregnant mothers can also be determined to evaluate the effectiveness of the interventions. Changes in social policies also provide insights into the effectiveness of the plan. The adoption of new laws indicate the effectiveness of the change plan (Torres et al., 2019).
Infants and children are highly predisposed to accidents at homes. Parents and guardians should therefore be educated on the effective ways in which they can prevent accidents at home. One of the interventions that they should consider is laying infants and children on firm sleeping surfaces. The need for this is to prevent the risk of sudden infant death syndrome as well as aspiration. Parents and guardians should also be educated about the importance of eliminating any form of infant exposure to tobacco smoke. The exposure predisposes infants to health problems such as asthma and upper respiratory tract infections. Parents and guardians also need education on the importance of keeping objectives our of reach of children. Examples includes rubber tops and bottle tops, which infants and children can swallow them easily. Falls among infants and children is another issue of concern that contributes to injuries and harm to children and infants. As a result, parents and guardians should be educated about the importance of interventions such as strapping babies to high chairs to prevent falls that may cause brain injury and fractures. Therefore, the above accident prevention interventions should be embraced.
Safety promotion in relation to tobacco exposure to the infants can be achieved in several ways. One of them is avoiding tobacco smoking near homes with infants. Parents and guardians should be educated about the importance of being advocates of environmental safety. They should be educated about the importance of never smoking near or at homes with infants to minimize and prevent their exposure to the negative effects of tobacco smoke. Parents and guardians should also be educated about the importance of never allowing anyone to smoke at their homes or near their homes. The second hand smoke will affect negatively the health and development of the infant. Parents should also be educated on the importance of never smoking in their cars. This is irrespective of whether the car windows are open or not. Smoking inside cars increases the exposure of babies to second-hand smoking and its effects. It is also critical to ensure that daycare centers and schools be tobacco free. The need for this is to ensure that the children in these settings do not get exposed to tobacco smoke, hence, its health effects (Torres et al., 2019).
Infant exposure to tobacco smoke has adverse health effects
Health effects evident during pregnancy, after birth to adulthood
Healthcare providers have a role in prevention of infant exposure to tobacco smoke
Focus should be on creation of safe environments for infants and children
CDC. (2019, May 29). Smoking During Pregnancy. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/basic_information/health_effects/pregnancy/index.htm
CDC. (2020, February 27). Health Effects of Secondhand Smoke. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/data_statistics/fact_sheets/secondhand_smoke/health_effects/index.htm
Pugmire, J., Sweeting, H., & Moore, L. (2017). Environmental tobacco smoke exposure among infants, children and young people: Now is no time to relax. Archives of Disease in Childhood, 102(2), 117–118. https://doi.org/10.1136/archdischild-2016-311652
Torres, L. H., Balestrin, N. T., Spelta, L. E. W., Duro, S. de O., Pistis, M., & Marcourakis, T. (2019). Exposure to tobacco smoke during the early postnatal period modifies receptors and enzymes of the endocannabinoid system in the brainstem and striatum in mice. Toxicology Letters, 302, 35–41. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.toxlet.2018.12.002