Mold and the Stages of Life
Babies set the tone for how things are going to go. If a baby suffers from mold symptoms, they are likely going to have health problems for the rest of his or her life. A study at the University of Cincinnati revealed that babies exposed to high levels of certain types of household molds have an increased chance of developing multiple allergies later in life.
Infants are particularly sensitive to all kinds of mold, and in some cases, infants exposed to mold suffer serious and long-term illnesses. Even the more common types of mold–Cladosporium, Penicillium, Aspergillus and Alternaria–can cause health problems for infants, according to the AAP. These include headaches, allergies, skin rashes, eye irritation, dizziness, fatigue and respiratory problems, reports the Weather Channel and CBS News. However, toxic effects from molds, such as Fusarium, Trichoderma and Stachybotrys, may cause more severe health reactions in infants, including acute vomiting, diarrhea and asthma attacks, warns the AAP.
With repeated exposure to powerful toxins from mold, infants are sometimes seriously affected, and in some cases, long-term exposure leads to death. According to a 1994 Cleveland, Ohio, public health report, out of eight infants repeatedly exposed to potent toxins from mold and suffering from pulmonary hemorrhage, five infants suffered recurring illness once they returned home after hospital treatment, reports AAP. One infant eventually died from pulmonary hemorrhage, according to the report. Other infant fatalities across the nation linked to SIDS may relate instead to mold exposure, according to the AAP.
Up to one-third of children are allergic to mold.
Testimonial about one family’s experience with mold and their son.
“Jennifer Minus learned how insidious mold can be when her family moved into military housing on the East Coast. Her son, Joseph, then 6, started sniffling soon after the move, and eventually he couldn’t breathe out of his nose at all — even with his allergy medication. “He had trouble sleeping, he’d get winded easily, and he was generally miserable,” recalls Minus. She found mold growing on a wooden window frame, so she cleaned it with a bleach solution, but then she heard that neighbors had recently moved out of their house because of mold. She had her home’s air quality checked, and the test revealed massive amounts of mold. “It was growing inside the window frames and through the wall,” says Minus. The army moved the family to new housing, and Joseph’s symptoms improved quickly, even though it was prime allergy season. Unfortunately, though, most families aren’t able to escape from their moldy home this easily.” (parents link)
School is a legitimate concern for parents. An overzealous mom who worries about everything can be justified if her son or daughter is exhibiting signs of asthma or allergies that had never been present in their child before. It’s kind of frightening that there are no federal health standards for school air.
CNN wrote an article called “Are schools making kids sick?” Figures are hard to come by, but studies have estimated that a third or more of U.S. schools have mold, dust and other indoor air problems serious enough to provoke respiratory issues like asthma in students and teachers. About one in 10 children in the United States now has asthma, which causes them to miss an average of four days of school a year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The teenage years are when it’s time for your kids to learn about mold and how to prevent it. They’re old enough to get in the habit of preventing mold and understand what to look for.
“Teenagers need to learn how to look after themselves, and cleaning their rooms is part of that,” says Charles Wibbelsman, MD, chairman of the Chiefs of Adolescent Medicine for Kaiser Permanente of Northern California and co-author of The Teenage Body Book. It’s a basic responsibility and a skill they’ll need as adults, he says.
Also, while it doesn’t apply to every single teenager, the stereotype and norm for a teen is a messy room. It is also an infamous notion that it’s a pain trying to get them to clean that dang room! If the approach you’re trying to take is reasoning with them or grossing them out to get to them to clean their rooms, maybe addressing mold would be a great point! Depending on the weather, it won’t take long for mold to start growing on that half-eaten sandwich hidden and forgotten under a pile of clothes or bed. Boom, the allergies and asthma symptoms will begin. The smell won’t be pleasant for anyone outside the room, either.
Hopefully as a teenager you started getting into good practices with cleaning your room and learning the telltale signs of mold and how to prevent it. If you didn’t, it’s not too late! It’s never too late to start putting your health first.
Adults that are mothers and fathers have an even more serious role. They have look out for their babies and children of the household, as well as their seniors.
Seniors refer to people 55 years old and older. Seniors have weaker immune systems than Teenagers and Adults; senior immune systems are very similar to those of babies and children. As people age, they often begin to face new challenges associated with growing older. The fact is our bodies simply begin to breakdown as we move into our golden years. With the many physical challenges, outside factors are often overlooked or not considered. These outside factors, such as the dangers of toxic mold exposure, can exacerbate an already delicate physical condition – especially those with an immune deficiency or an immunocompromised system. The importance of controlling the, often hidden, mold dangers for a growing elderly population are evident when looking at the last census.
Huffington Post reported “The CDC reports that a condition called ‘hypersensitivity pneumonitis‘ is a possible complication of mold exposure. The condition might seem like pneumonia, but it can’t be cured by antibiotics, and its symptoms include cough, chills, fever, fatigue, muscle aches and shortness of breath. If a person is continually exposed to the mold, the damage caused by hypersensitivity pneumonitis can bring on scarring and permanent damage, according to the CDC.”
Like schools for children, it’s important to monitor Senior Citizens Housing. Make sure the living standards of the senior citizen’s home comply with federal regulations, that the living quarters are clean and that the senior citizen isn’t experiencing atypical systems of getting older – look for the tell-tale signs of mold upon visiting.