Is Your Baby at Risk from Toxic Mold?
This time of year brings lots of sneezes and wheezes to young babies as the warm weather is replaced with colder temperatures. Going outside may seem like a bad idea to those parents whose children suffer with seasonal allergies or are susceptible to colds and flus. You may be tempted to stay indoors. But what if staying inside is actually worse? If mold is present in your home, your baby could be at a higher risk indoors.
Mold can be toxic to everyone, but it is especially toxic to infants and young children. As I’m sure most people are aware, mold and babies do not make a great combination. Unfortunately, you may not know right away that mold is causing an issue. What might start out as what looks like a common cold or regular seasonal allergies may actually be a result of exposure to hidden molds in your home. If your baby shows regular and consistent symptoms that do not get better with time or prescribed medicine, it may be time to look at potential mold removal from your home.
Mold and Babies
Mold is a very sneaky fungus that comes in thousands of varieties, and many of the different types of mold can be highly toxic to young babies who have a growing and developing immune system. The toxins emitted by certain types of mold are absorbed into the skin, airways and intestines. Because of their age and constant needs, babies spend the vast majority of their time in the home where mold may be present.
When exposed to mold, babies may display chronic sneezing, runny nose, coughing and itchy eyes. If left untreated, young babies may develop asthma, severe allergies, pneumonia or much worse. The conditions developed from mold exposure at a young age can stay with your baby throughout its entire life. This is why mold removal is so important when young babies are in the home.
Here are just a few of the issues you may see with your infant after exposure to toxic mold:
Because a baby’s respiratory system is still immature, it is unable to rid itself of the toxins put off by mold. You may notice your baby coughing and wheezing or even have trouble catching her breath – which can be very frightening for all involved. In some cases, your baby could develop croup or pneumonia if continued exposure to mold is allowed. Lung problems in young babies can be extremely serious. If you notice any of these symptoms, your child should be seen by a doctor right away.
Tummy issues can also arise from extended lengths of mold exposure. These gastrointestinal issues may include nausea and vomiting or diarrhea and abdominal pain. Other babies and young children will lose their appetite and may not want to eat. Weight loss is a serious concern in infants. While vomiting is easy to spot, other gastrointestinal issues in babies may go unidentified due to the inability for an infant to communicate what is wrong. You may just see your baby become fussy, agitated or listless.
Some babies may experience skin irritation or rash with mold exposure. This is especially true for those infants who have come into direct contact with mold. If you notice your baby has an unexplained rash or irritated skin, it is best to get it checked out by a qualified physician. There are many causes for skin irritation, and mold may be one that you don’t consider right away. Let your doctor know if your baby has experienced other symptoms in addition to the rash as well.
What To Do if Your Baby is Exposed to Mold
If you have found mold in your home or if you suspect mold exposure due to your baby’s symptoms, leaving the home is extremely important. The sooner you can get your baby (and yourself) away from the mold, the better. Go to a family member’s home or a hotel. Separate your baby from the mold as soon as possible to reduce the health effects. Every day counts so don’t wait around.
After you have separated your baby from the mold situation, make an appointment right away with your pediatrician. They will examine your infant and determine what additional aspects or specialists should get involved. Let the doctor know exactly what symptoms were experienced and how long they were present. The more information you can provide, the more thorough the exam.
After your family is safely out of the home and your child has been evaluated by a doctor, your focus should turn to the mold removal in your home. The first step you should take is to schedule a mold inspection with a certified mold removal service, especially if you aren’t completely certain you have a mold issue. This team will be able to come into your home and identify any mold growth or potential for future mold.
If you have seen or positively identified mold (or your mold inspection results in a positive test), you will need to look into mold removal for your home. Mold removal is best completed by professionals, especially when you have infants or young children living in the house. Your health and the health of your family is important, and the investment will leave you with peace of mind. When the mold removal is completed professionally, you can rest assured that no additional health concerns from mold are present in your home.
Mold is a hazard to all human beings, but young babies are especially susceptible to the toxic effects of mold. Immature and developing immune systems are not set up to handle and ward off the illnesses and toxins that fully developed systems are designed to do. As parents, we do anything and everything we can to protect our children. If there is a danger to our babies, we want to fix it. The problem with mold is that we don’t always know it is there. In this case, we have to watch for symptoms that keep coming back or just won’t go away. Always be proactive whenever you suspect or see any signs of mold.