Parents all over the country are worried about the effects of vaping. Two different speakers shared their perspectives on Tuesday night at Harrisburg North Middle School: a pediatrician and a detective. To give one example of what was shared, pediatrician Dr. Jennifer Haggar talked about vaping associated pulmonary injury, which she says refers to a severe case and might appear to be a cold, with coughing, perhaps vomiting.
Tuesday’s event takes aim at an idea of safety.
“What we’re seeing as opposed to other substance abuse issues maybe we’ve seen amongst youth in the past is a feeling that it’s a safe, fun thing to do,” said Michael Amolins, curriculum director with the Harrisburg School District. “And that’s something that we really want to stifle with this event, is make sure that the community understands that this is a real problem, and that it’s something that we all have to take part in in order to stop.”
Furthermore, he says, Harrisburg isn’t immune to this issue.
“We’re no different than any other community, we see the same issues, and I think that’s another thing that maybe is a misconception, is that you often think, ‘Maybe that’s not my kid, I don’t have to deal with that,'” Amolins said. “And really it’s, I mean it’s widespread across the nation, and we’re experiencing those same challenges.”
“I think one good message over to parents is to not think, ‘It can’t be my child,'” said Collin Smith, detective with the Spearfish Police Department who spoke at Tuesday’s event. “What I’ve noticed in the last five years, it’s every demographic you can think of is being affected by it right now.”
Following the presentation and a period for questions, KELOLAND News caught up with people who took it in.
“It’s worrisome to be a parent of a kid growing up right now, and knowing that there is things that are out there that are possibly targeting them, and that’s scary,” Brittany Danielsen of Sioux Falls said.