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to think that this woman needs to step up to the mark?

(56 Posts)
juicy12 Wed 11-Nov-09 16:06:09

Not sure how this one will sit, cos I know being judgemental is possibly the worst thing on MN, but here goes...

I was at the hospital with DS today and while we were in the children's ward, another family arrived with their DS, who must have been 3, possible 4yo. He'd had a bad asthma attack and obviously this wasn't the first one he'd had. He looked pretty unwell and sounded quite wheezy. So, we were in the playroom and overheard the following btw little boy's mum and the doctor:
doc - does anyone in your house smoke?
mum - only my partner, but he just smokes in one room, not in front of DS. DS sees my parents alot, too, and they smoke in their house.
doc - Obviously you know that smoking exacerbates the asthma, do you also know that people shouldn't go near your DS for an hour after smoking?
mum - well, no-one's ever told us that, I didn't know that. Right.

Now, if you've got a DC with a chronic illness like asthma, aren't you going to do all in your power to help them and certainly not make things worse by exposing them to something that everyone knows will make it worse? AIBU in thinking that this woman is failing her little boy here? Made me feel really sad for him.

meltedchocolate Wed 11-Nov-09 16:19:33

'failing him' - I think that is very harsh. You dont know her home circumstances.

belgo Wed 11-Nov-09 16:21:38


It's her son, she is responsible for his well being.

SerendipitousHarlot Wed 11-Nov-09 16:22:21

I think you are being far too judgemental actually. You have heard a snapshot of a life that you know nothing about, and you've made a snap judgement based on that. That's natural to do, I know, but to post on here about it is a bit off imo.

None of us are perfect parents, not one of us.

deaddei Wed 11-Nov-09 16:23:32

YANBU to be concerned for child- sadly, no matter how much you give some people advice about their child, they will not act upon it.

whoisasking Wed 11-Nov-09 16:25:56

I've never heard that smokers shouldn't approach an asthmatic until an hour after their last cigarette either.

That's interesting, as I'm an asthmatic and so is a close member of my family.

whoisasking Wed 11-Nov-09 16:27:13

Oh, and YABU. It wasn't as if the mother said "Oh yeah I smoke 80 a day, we know it's really bad, but <shrug> we don't really give a shit"

Mcdreamy Wed 11-Nov-09 16:28:46

Well lets hope she listens this time and acts upon it for the sake of her DS.

Maybe no-one has sat her down and gone through the seriousness of having asthma.

As my DH often says, not all GPs/Drs are good and thorough GPs/Drs - he is a GP.

My Dad requires an inhaler which was duly prescribed but DH surprised at his technique (he did not even know to stand up!), not surprised when dad said he didn't feel it made a difference. DH sat down and talked him through it, took about 5 mins but has made all the difference since.

WenisLicker Wed 11-Nov-09 16:28:50


BUT she might genuinely not realise that smoking around children, especially asthmatics is bad for them. She may have gone home and 'stepped up to the mark' after her conversation with the Doctor.

Suppose if it wasn't her sons 1st time at the asthma clinic, she would have been aware though. I imagine it's one of the first things they tell parents.

The hour thing seems a bit OTT, but I'm not a doctor nor do I suffer with asthma, so I wouldn't know.

UnquietDad Wed 11-Nov-09 16:29:03

Did she know the meaning of "exacerbates"? (Runs for cover.)

Buda Wed 11-Nov-09 16:30:47

She did say she didn't know that smokers shouldn't approach an asthmatic for an hour. She didn't say "oh yes but we ignore that".

So. On that front YABU.

juicy12 Wed 11-Nov-09 16:44:09

lol Unquiet Dad - no idea!
However, surely whether you knew about "the hour rule" or not (and I would imagine most people don't - I've never heard it) you know that smoking around kids isn't ideal, especially one who has an illness that affects his breathing?
Serendipitous, what's the worst thing here - that you think I'm being judgemental or that a DC's illness is being made potentially worse by a total no-brainer? It's really hard to stop smoking (took me years to stop), but I'm pretty sure having a DC with breathing difficulties would make the decision easier for me and/or a DP, no?

groundhogs Wed 11-Nov-09 17:22:27

Technically OP, you are right - pretty harsh - but correct.

So you are an ex-smoker... that kind of explains it... grin

As an ex-smoker myself, and in reply to your AIBU question, the answer is YANBU, but definately a little overboard on the judgy bit.

MayorNaze Wed 11-Nov-09 17:26:02

i don't normally post stuff like this, but i was at the hospital a fw weeks ago and a little boy was brought in with breathing difficulties. he was checked in right next to me so i could hear everything. this child had chronic emphysema. he was 9. the mum was pg.

5 minutes later she is outside having a fag

i know i know nothing about her etc etc but i challenge any of you not to judge that

llareggub Wed 11-Nov-09 17:27:30

Well I see where you are going with this, but I would question why you think the boy's mother needs to step up to the mark when it is her partner who smokes. What, do we always want to blame the mother or should the father take some responsibility here?

posieparker Wed 11-Nov-09 17:32:59

Fucking hell, another thread with the lazy arsed her son, up to her if she's a shit parent...

Of course she's failing her son, allowing potentially life threatening stuff to go on near him. It's the same as no car seats, getting pissed when looking after children.


posieparker Wed 11-Nov-09 17:34:26

Even complete morons know that smoking is bad for children with or without breathing issues.

Sn0wflake Wed 11-Nov-09 17:34:26

MayorNaze.....yeah i think that is rubbish parenting. I don't think there is anything wrong with being judgemental on aibu - that's what it is about.

madamearcati Wed 11-Nov-09 17:36:02

I think you are being really harsh.
What are you suggesting she do wrt the gps smoking.Tell them they can never smoke on their own house.Never visit the GPs ?
WRT the partner , why is it the mum's fault shouldn't the DP take some responsibility for this ?

sherby Wed 11-Nov-09 17:38:46

Even if her partner only smokes 5 a day it is going to be almost impossible for her to keep the son away from him for what 5 hours in total?

How is that ever going to work?

Unless she leaves her partner? Which is also rather unlikely. She isn't smoking herself what would you have her do <genuine question>?

posieparker Wed 11-Nov-09 17:38:47

Well, the Dad's really shit.

Yes, the boy should avoid his GPs house and i that was my DH there is no way he'd smoke in the house, not that he smokes but still.

posieparker Wed 11-Nov-09 17:39:59

Perhaps avoiding the DS is not possible. So how about the Dad goes into the garden and once after dinner, and then not again until the ds is tucked up in bed.

sherby Wed 11-Nov-09 17:40:53

But even if he wasn't smoking in the house you would still have to keep your DS away from him EVERY time he had a cig for 1 hour. Can you see that working long term?

GhoulsAreLoud Wed 11-Nov-09 17:41:38

Why are you listening in to conversations between a Dr and patient's mother and reporting them back here?

sherby Wed 11-Nov-09 17:42:43

So the mum can never then leave her son with the DP because either the DP wont be able to smoke <not likely over a day for a smoker> or he smokes and exposes the son to the second hand crap.

I am not saying it is right, its just not as simple as oh yes she is letting her son down

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