Children are our most precious commodities. They carry on all the hopes and dreams that we have for the world, and they are our most treasured joy in life. As parents, we do everything we can to protect our children from harm. The very day they are born, we begin taking precautions to protect them. From car seats to complicated strollers with sun visors and shock absorbers, we want nothing to hurt our little ones. But what about the dangers we cannot see? What are we doing about them?
Mold is a dangerous and hidden toxin. It hides and grows in plain sight, and when unattended to, it can become deadly. But do we think about the danger it poses to our children? And if so, how can we protect them from it? This article will explore how mold affects children and what to do about it.
Mold comes in thousands of varieties and grows inside and out. Mold spores can hide anywhere. It only needs water and a damp environment to start growing. It can hide in a pile of damp leaves or in the ceiling of a wet and damp bathroom. In warmer climates, mold can be a year-round concern. However, mold can grow in cooler climates year-round as well. According to the website Parents.com, “Up to one-third of children are allergic to mold (only pollen allergy is more common). Inhaling spores — the invisible airborne seeds of mold — can cause sneezing, a runny nose, itchy eyes, wheezing, and coughing. If one parent has allergies, a child has a 30 to 40 percent chance of inheriting the tendency to develop them; if both parents are allergic, the odds are more than 50 percent.” It’s clear that mold poses a serious risk to a child’s health.
Research from the University of Cincinnati has shown that babies exposed to mold have a higher chance of developing allergies later in life. Other research shows that children living in homes with visible mold combined with water damage have a higher rate of developing asthma. The combination of asthma and mold allergies can be dangerous as it can restrict a child’s airways and cause breathing problems, which can then lead to other symptoms if not treated properly.
If you suspect that your child is having an allergic reaction, pay special attention to where the reaction is occurring. If the allergic reaction occurs in a basement, it could be a mold reaction. Or if it occurs after the grass has just been cut, it may be seasonal allergies. However, if the reaction persists during non-outdoor allergy seasons, which run from March to June, the symptoms could be mold related. In this case, two immediate actions need to be taken. The first is to take your child to see a doctor who can determine the cause, which may include having them tested for mold allergies. If there are mold allergies, the doctor will provide a course of treatment and environmental recommendations to keep your child safe. The next action is to get a mold remediation specialist to inspect where your child spends the majority of their time. We will provide mold testing of the areas in question and let you know if abnormal mold activity exists, what kind it is, how it can safely be removed, and we will also suggest options to prevent mold regrowth. These two actions combined will keep your child safe from long term mold exposure. In addition, you may want to check with your child’s school and other places they spend ample time at. These precautions ensure that those locations (outside the home) are aware of your child’s allergy, know what to look for in terms of a reaction, and are mold free as well.
CMS is aware that keeping your child safe is your number one priority as a parent and this goes beyond bumps and bruises. It includes being aware of and protecting your child against the hidden dangers of mold. And if mold allergies are found your role is to treat the allergies and make sure your child’s environments are mold free. Do this and you will be able to enjoy all the milestones your child achieves in life as a proud protective parent should.