The Risks of Mold Exposure for Kids
Mold exposure is a known danger to children's health. That should come as no surprise since mold's health effects are widely known to cause multiple health problems in adults. But it's important to understand the negative link between mold and kids' health. Once you see how dangerous mold can be to the long-term health and development of a child's body, it's easy to understand why proper mold removal is so important.
How Does Mold Exposure Occur?
Mold is a type of fungi that looks like a dusty substance. Not all mold is dangerous. In fact, there are plenty of beneficial varieties that are used to make things, like foods and pharmaceuticals. However, many varieties of mold are unhealthy to eat, and there are even some that are dangerous even to breathe. Mold spreads spores to disperse itself and reproduce. This means that if dangerous mold is present in a home, its spores are sure to be present in the air we breathe.
When mold spores find places of moisture, such as around leaky roofs or windows, damp cardboard, wood, or ceiling tiles, they will thrive and grow rapidly. While most people might associate dangerous mold with dripping pipes or damp drywall, it surprisingly can also grow in dust, wallpaper, insulation, carpets, and upholstery. If a home experiences chronic dampness or an incident like flooding or a water leak, left untreated, most likely mold will be present and growing.
Why Are Kids in the Risk Group for Mold Health Exposure?
Mold and kids' health is especially concerning because children's bodies metabolize substances more quickly than adults and children's bodies are still developing in ways that adults are not. Because of both their height, weight, and under-developed bodies, children are particularly vulnerable to the negative effects of mold exposure.
Research is just beginning to understand how dangerous household mold can be to the health and development of children. One study, published in The Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, found that acute idiopathic pulmonary hemorrhage (bleeding of the respiratory tract) which is deadly in 50% of cases is significantly more common in babies who live in homes with mold exposure. While that alone is extremely concerning, the health dangers to children do not stop there. Another study, in the journal Physiology & Behavior, found that children from birth to six years old measured lower for cognitive function in homes contaminated with mold.
Symptoms of Mold Exposure in Children
There are several symptoms that parents should be looking out for to quickly respond to mold exposure in children. These include:
- Respiratory problems, such as becoming easily out of breath
- Itchy skin or eyes
However, mold can silently impact a child's health. So parents should remain vigilant to address water damage, humidity problems, and damp areas of their home immediately. If mold is visibly present, don't wait for symptoms to appear. These dangerous spores can already be affecting a child's developing body, even if no visible symptoms are present. Mold KO is here to help you solve your mold issues so you can enjoy the peace of mind that your children are safe from its damaging effects.
Long-Term Effects of Mold Exposure in Children
While acute symptoms of mold exposure, such as coughing, wheezing, and sneezing, are extremely concerning in children, long-term mold health effects are even more worrying. Did you know that mold exposure in the home can place a child at a greater risk of developing asthma, allergies, and other health issues? The National Institute of Health reported that three species of mold were found more often in homes where babies, who later developed asthma, lived. There's currently no cure for asthma and sufferers need to manage their symptoms for life. Further studies detail how a child's developing body is at greater risk to allergens such as mold during childhood, which could have life-long health implications.
Mold Prevention Tips for Parents
Although mold can be a scary issue for parents because of how dangerous it can be to kids' health, there are many ways to keep your family safe. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has several recommendations for ensuring a healthy, mold-free home, these include:
- Fix leaks in roof, windows, or pipes. Remove drywall and insulation which has been exposed to water.
- Fabric that cannot be laundered, like carpeting and upholstery which is repeatedly exposed to moisture should be replaced by waterproof surfaces.
- Use a dehumidifier for areas of your home that are often damp, such as basements or enclosed porches.
In addition, window air conditioner units can be a breeding ground for mold. Although small specks of mold on walls or ceilings may be able to be removed with bleach and water, it's best to consult a professional, like our experienced team at Mold KO, if you smell a musty odor or see spots of mold. There may be mold growing deeper within the walls or floor that you cannot see.
Mold Removal and Remediation
It's important to understand that very small amounts of mold spores are always present in any environment. However, some types of mold produce toxins, known as mycotoxins. It can be difficult for the untrained eye to determine if mold growing in a home is one of these toxigenic types since just looking at the color or checking the smell does not indicate the danger level of household mold. That's why the CDC cautions parents and caregivers that “any mold should be removed," and that sources of moisture that encourage mold growth be treated. That's why it's critical to your family's health to hire a professional mold remediation service to effectively remove mold from the home in order to prevent long-term health problems for you and your family. At Mold KO, our experienced team of mold experts uses a four-step process that involves a meticulous inspection of your home followed by remediation using safe and non-toxic fungicides which are of the highest quality and EPA-registered. We prioritize your safety throughout the entire process. Once completed, you can rest assured that your family is breathing clean air in a safe home environment.
Mold Exposure Is Dangerous to the Entire Family, but Especially to Kids
Mold exposure can cause a variety of health problems for adults, from memory loss to headaches and allergies. But mold health effects on children are even more troubling. The damaging effects of mold on kids' health are still being discovered, but there are currently strong links between mold and childhood asthma and allergies. Mold exposure in the home can contribute to neurological issues such as a decrease in cognitive functioning and potential behavioral problems as well. For infants, the risk is even more pressing, with mold linked to a potentially life-threatening pulmonary condition.
The good news is that mold treatment can effectively remove dangerous mold growth from the home. Your family doesn't need to be exposed to toxic mold spores that can wreak havoc on a child's developing body. Choose a reputable mold remediation service like Mold KO. We make sure to treat the mold you can see and the mold that may be hiding unseen in your home, with state-of-the-art technology and family-friendly solutions that are EPA-tested and non-toxic. Give your children the best start in life with the security and safety of a healthy, mold-free home. If you suspect your home might be harboring mold, call us today to schedule a consultation.
If you reside in Alexandria, VA, Gaithersburg, MD, Elizabeth, NJ, or Dallas, TX and require reliable mold remediation services, don't hesitate to contact us. Our friendly team is ready to assist you in restoring the integrity and safety of your property. Say goodbye to mold-related worries and experience a healthier living space today.
Frequently Asked Questions about Mold and Kids' Health
Is it safe for kids to stay in mold-affected areas?
Mold can impact the health, cognition, and behavior of children. Not only can it make children more susceptible to allergies and asthma, but it can cause potentially deadly conditions such as bleeding in the lungs. If your home has mold, you should consider it an emergency that requires swift action and attention.
How do you detox mold from kids?
If you search the internet for mold and kids' health, you'll most likely find a lot of information and advice dedicated to mold detox. From vitamins to herbal supplements, there are a lot of products being pitched to detox children after mold exposure. However, there's not much conventional medical guidance that suggests this is a good idea. The most important action you can take is to remove mold that is growing in your home. Beyond this step, it's best to consult a pediatrician for guidance as to how to safely respond to mold exposure.
Do air purifiers help with mold?
An air purifier with a HEPA filter can help to capture mold spores and keep them from floating around where they can be easily inhaled. However, an air purifier alone is not a solution to a mold problem. If a home has a serious mold problem, an air purifier is a small band-aid on a much larger problem. Industrial air purifiers are capable of helping after major flooding, but these are not the type of home air purifiers that you run every day in your home.
Also, it should be noted that HEPA air purifiers require regular cleaning since they can become a breeding ground for mold growth themselves. An unclean filter can essentially turn an air purifier into a mold dispersal unit, and nobody wants that.