A child’s risk of developing heart disease can be raised by his or her exposure to secondhand smoke, according to new research.

Scientists at the Center for Cardiovascular Medicine at Nationwide Children’s Hospital and Research Institute in Columbus, Ohio, studied the effects of secondhand smoke on children ages 2 to 14. They found that the smoke caused increased signs of inflammation and cardiovascular damage in the children.

Younger children appeared to be more affected than teenagers because, the researchers say, they tend to spend more time in the presence of their parents or guardians who may smoke.

How can you protect your child from the dangers of secondhand smoke? The researchers first suggest quitting smoking. If you do continue to smoke, do it outside, away from the home. Also, remove your top layer of clothing and wash your hands when you return to the house in order to limit your child’s exposure.