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One of our simple pleasures in winter is lighting a fire in our modest fireplace. Since we have young kids, we have been told by friends and researchers that kids in homes with frequent fires have a significantly greater risk of asthma and other lung-related issues. Our pediatrician is not as concerned, and as a son of a mom who used to smoke two packs a day throughout his childhood, I am beginning to agree with my doctor. What are your opinions?--Chris, Strongmoms facilitator
I grew up in a home with multiple smokers.. thank GOD it did not rub off on me, and we had a fire place as well. We all turned out fine. I will say me little sister had asthma as a child, but she was born with it. I would worry more about the house becomeing too dry more than the fear of asthma. I was told a long time ago by my ex's mother that one winter he just stopped breathing.. so she panicked like most parents would and rushed him out to the car to take him to the hospital. She said she made it about two steps out the door and he started to breath again. Apparently the lack of humidity in the house made him stop breathing. Anyway keeping a humidifier near the fireplace should solve that. My mom used to just put a pan of water next to the fire (behind the grill) and the fire would soak up the moisture from that instead of the rest of the house... anyone else ever heard of these techniques?
If your kids have lung issues or are prone to bronchitis or asthma you may want to rethink frequent fires…however, if your girls are healthy, I see no reason why you should not have fires in your fireplace! Enjoy it and the holiday season!
I'd just make sure your fire is venting properly and that it is not causing any of your kids issues -if so, you can always install a gas fireplace. I feel like those burn more cleanly for some reason? Maybe you'd have to research that too. Good luck!