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While the goal of parents includes providing their children with a home that is safe, where they are protected and can grow and flourish, all too often there is a risk to a child’s health and well-being hiding right there within those very walls.
More common than you think
A paper published on by the National Institutes of Health suggests that one cause of the growing incident of asthma and other breathing related issues in children is household mold and cites a direct connection to dampness and mold and lung function.
The article notes: “About 30 investigations from various countries around the world have demonstrated a close relationship between living in damp homes or homes with mold growth, and the extent of adverse respiratory symptoms in children.”
Some of the early symptoms that may indicate your child, or someone else in your home, is developing asthma or another lung related issue includes:
Trouble sleeping because of coughing or wheezing, delayed recovery of respiratory infections, trouble breathing when playing or exercising or fatigue can also be signs that something more serious is going on.
While many people understand and will be aware of the signs of mold in bathrooms and showers – the black discoloration that may appear – there are other sources of mold that may be less obvious.
Beyond checking for and ensuring leaks and seepage are repaired as quickly as possible, and that spills are cleaned up quickly, there are a few things you can do to discourage mold growth in your home.
If you do spot mold in your home, it is important to clean the area as soon as possible, in order to avoid its spread, and to avoid your family from coming in contact with the harmful spores that can trigger reactions. Clean up, however, comes after you identify and repair the source of the moisture to prevent it from coming back again.
Use protective gear to ensure that as you remove the mold, you are not inhaling spores yourself. Gloves, a mask and goggles are all a good idea. Most areas can likely be cleaned with detergent and water, although there are also stronger chemical options available on the market for heavier staining.
Things that may have absorbed mold that cannot be cleaned properly, such as carpet, ceiling tiles, mats or shower curtains, may need to be replaced.
If the area is large, or if you’re not sure you have or can get to all of the mold, get professional help. You should also seek assistance if you have cleaned an area and find the mold is coming back as it either means the issue was not completely resolved or that the mold is hidden in a place that will need professional attention to access.