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Toddler, two, is taken away from his parents and put up for adoption after health visitor complained about the amount of cigarette smoke in his home

OWoN: And so it starts. What happens in Hull happens in the US tomorrow. It will grow as will State powers. So now, Smoke and they can take your child. They have already here. Interesting moves. The shape of things to come.

Toddler, two, is taken away from his parents and put up for adoption after health visitor complained about the amount of cigarette smoke in his home

  • The boy and his father were surrounded by a visible cloud of smoke
  • The persistent thick smoke in home made the toddler require an inhaler
  • He has now been placed for adoption after a family court ruling in Hull

Mail Online
By Chris Brooke
1 June 2015

A two-year-old boy has been taken from his parents amid fears their smoking put him at risk.

A health visitor described seeing a ‘cloud of smoke’ over the youngster, who had been unwell for some time and was asleep on the sofa.

The room was so thick with smoke she had ‘difficulty breathing’. The child’s parents were oblivious to concerns about the cigarette smoke despite the little boy being prescribed an inhaler to help his breathing.

In her evidence to the Family Court, health visitor Julie Allen said she had not come across a child living in such a smoky house during her ten-year career.

The parents did nothing to clean up the squalid home, which was dirty and smelled of smoke, despite being capable of looking after the toddler.

Judge Louise Pemberton, sitting in the Family Court in Hull, was told of other worrying factors which put the child – known as AB – at risk.

They included his father’s drug use and mental health issues, the unhygienic conditions within the house and risks of strangulation posed by electric wires within the child’s reach.

The judge ruled AB should be placed for adoption. She said: ‘I want AB to know that in my judgment his parents loved him very much and tried very hard but due to their own difficulties and difficult backgrounds, they were simply not able to meet his needs.

‘I find that there were numerous occasions when AB was exposed to excessive levels of smoke in the home that will have had an impact on his health and well-being.’

The parents, who cannot be identified, have three other children between them and had been through court proceedings for each after failing to care properly for them.

AB was initially taken into foster care shortly after being born but moved into the family home in January last year when he was about nine months old.

Within weeks, social workers were concerned about his ‘poor and unsafe’ living conditions including ‘potential drug paraphernalia seen in the home’.

Yet little was done by the parents to improve their level of care. After nine months with his parents, the boy was taken into foster care pending the judge’s ruling. Miss Allen told how she was shocked by the smokiness of the house during a visit in May last year when AB was aged one.

‘The parents seemed unable... to acknowledge or appreciate the concern and adapt their behaviour,’ she said.

Community nurse Emma Green described the floor as being dirty and cluttered with nappies, empty cigarette packets, bits of paper and food, while the little boy’s toys and clothes also stank of smoke.

Janine Potts, another community nurse, said conditions were ‘squalid’ with a strong smell of cat urine, damp and cigarettes.

In her evidence, the mother claimed the couple smoked only occasionally in the kitchen, with the window wide open if AB was in the room.

She said: ‘I have been paranoid about the cleanliness of the floors and make sure that these are steam-cleaned at least twice a day.’

The mother later admitted there were full ashtrays in the house but said they could have been brought in from outside.

Judge Pemberton said she found much of the mother’s evidence hard to accept, although she acknowledged AB was happy in his parents’ company and they ‘showed real delight in their son’.

But she said: ‘I am afraid that all of these matters lead me to an unavoidable and difficult conclusion that the risks to [the little boy] in being placed with his parents are far too high.’



  1. My oldest son was 4 months old when he was hospitalized for pneumonia. It turned out the cause was the babysitter smoking. It took 20 minutes resuscitating my son - on the way to the hospital. She found herself unemployed. It took almost a month in the hospital to clear his lungs.

    Our legal system has a long way to go in making things right for families. Parental education needs to be at the top of the list for situations like the one in this article. Health and well being are very important for children.

    Common sense can be lacking, but if people love their children then educating them and giving them the chance to change, that chance should be given.

  2. I agree P and the same for pets in the home. Nobody else or an animal should be subjected to cigarette smoke.


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