Smoking and second hand smoke puts kids at risk to invasive meningococcal disease

December 11, 2012 2:53:03 PM PST
Exposure to second hand smoke during a mother's pregnancy or later in the home can increase a child's risk of invasive meningococcal disease, according to a report.

The disease is a major cause of bacterial meningitis, and can cause severe illness when bacteria invades the blood, lungs or joints.

Children and young adults are said to be particularly at risk.

Children born to mothers who smoked during pregnancy were three times more likely to also have this problem, the study said.

Scientist's say aren't sure how tobacco smoke affects these children, but encourage adults not to smoke in the home or around children.