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Mold Exposure in Babies

What to Do If Your Baby Is Exposed to Black Mold

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 replaces colder temperatures. Going outside may seem like a bad idea to those parents whose children suffer from seasonal allergies or are susceptible to colds and cases of flu.

You may be tempted to stay indoors. But what if staying inside is worse? If mold is present in your home, your baby could be at a higher risk indoors.

Toxic Mold Exposure in Infants & Toddlers

The arrival of a new member of the family can be exciting. However, having a sick baby isn’t fun at all. It’s normal for babies to get the common cold.

They may exhibit symptoms such as runny noses, headaches, and much more from time to time. However, when these symptoms are present consistently, and the medicine the doctor prescribed doesn’t work, it’s time to consider looking for the culprit in your basement.

Mold And Babies: Harmful Effects Of Molds To Children

Babies are more susceptible to illnesses. This is because their immune systems are still developing. They are, therefore, easy targets. Parents and caregivers should therefore do their best to minimize the level of exposure of infants to disease causing agents.

If you have a baby in your home, you should be concerned about black mold in basement. This mold will have a profound impact of the quality of air in the entire home. Mold spores dispersed in the basement are carried by air that rises through the home. Your baby will therefore be exposed to these spores.

Inhaling black mold spores exposes babies to mycotoxins. These are toxic substances produced by mold. These can have harmful effects on babies, including causing pulmonary hemorrhage.

Babies that survive the adverse effects of mold in infancy are likely to be followed by the results of the mycotoxins for a lifetime. They are likely to develop allergies as well as conditions such as asthma later on in life.

What to do if you suspect your baby is exposed to black mold?

The first and most important thing is to take the baby out of the polluted environment. This will reduce mold exposure. Ensure that they see a pediatrician and are treated for exposure. Early diagnosis helps to reduce the chances of long-term effects on the baby.

The next step is to remove the mold from your home. Mold remediation is a job that should be left to the professionals. Please don’t attempt to clean mold on your own, as you will not likely get rid of it completely. Mold infestations often run more profoundly than can be observed with the naked eye.

Effects of Mold on Children’s Health

Babies and small children are at a stage where they’re still developing their immune systems. So, while you or any other healthy adults may not suffer from the effects of mold, your kids are always at risk.

Note: It’s still possible for adults with weakened immune systems or those allergic to mold to experience these symptoms.

The main thing you need to know is that the diseases associated with molds are common among children. It’s easy to dismiss mold symptoms as nothing serious.

You might see your baby sneezing, coughing, or with a runny nose — all of which are signs of mold allergy. And yet, you could blame it on something else entirely, not knowing what the real culprit was.

Even worse, there are far more dangerous effects toxic mold can have on children.

Allergic Reactions
We’ve mentioned sneezing, coughing, and runny nose. But it does not stop there.

Your baby could experience rashes. Skin irritation is not out of the question, especially if the baby comes into direct contact with the mold in question.

To be clear:

Any number of things could cause rashes. But if you have mold in your home or suspect that you do, you could inform your pediatrician so she could use that information to assess what steps to take.

Respiratory Problems
It’s not uncommon for kids to develop croup, pneumonia, or bronchitis if there is mold growth due to water damage in the home.

Croup — An inflammation or blockage of the larynx, trachea, and bronchi. Children will start to experience shortness of breath.
Pneumonia — An inflammation of the lung tissue. Those afflicted will experience fever, chills, cough, fatigue, and difficulty in breathing.
Bronchitis — An inflammation of the bronchial tubes. Your baby could experience dry coughing, noisy breathing, and vomiting. They’ll also eat less and can become more irritable.
According to the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, there is a direct link between the dampness of the home to more respiratory symptoms in children. If you expose children to high levels of fungi, then you also raise the risk of respiratory symptoms.

The research concludes that homes with high levels of mold—when combined with environmental factors—had an 86% chance of infecting kids in their first year.

Gastrointestinal Conditions
Exposure to mold can also lead to problems with your kid’s digestive tract. It can lead to diarrhea, vomiting, and nausea.

Kids will also lose their appetite if they have gastrointestinal issues.

There’s also the possibility of bleeding in the intestinal tract and intestinal cramping.

While these symptoms often show up if the victim had eaten spoiled food, they can also pop up if they inhale the mold or absorb it through the skin.

Again, if you suspect that mold is causing these symptoms, let your pediatrician know. Also, look for other mold symptoms like coughing, sore throats, or rashes. This could help the doctor come up with the correct diagnosis.

And if she tells you that mold is causing the problem, seek professional help immediately.

Baby Exposed to Mold? Here’s What You Should Do.

If you think or have confirmed that your kid is sick because of mold, you should go to a doctor familiar with mold toxicity and how to properly test your baby for various mycotoxins.

Another sign that mold is the issue would be consistency. If your kid continuously suffers from any of the diseases we’ve mentioned, then molds are the probable cause. See if your baby starts feeling better by staying in a mold-free household.

While the baby is away, have professional mold experts come in and do an assessment of your home. Sometimes you can spot a mold immediately, but there are times when you’ll need experts to come in.

You can also improve the indoor air quality of your home. This will help remove mold spores.

Molds can go beyond the surface and sink deep into the surface where they live. You’ll need people who know what they’re doing to get rid of molds completely.

They can also test the mold to see what type you have in your home. Knowing the specific type of mold can help the doctor come up with a diagnosis.

So, to recap:

You need to take your child to a pediatrician, move them out of the home temporarily, and call in the experts to identify and remove all traces of mold in your home.

4 Signs Your Child Has Been Exposed To Mold

Children spend 90 percent of their time indoors. COVID-19 has not improved on this statistic, which makes children staying inside and being exposed to indoor contaminants a persistent reality. This situation exposes children to mold, and as symptoms arise, you will see that children and mold are not a good combination. Your best solution is early awareness of contamination so you can order mold remediation. Here are four signs of children having been exposed to mold in Portland, OR:

  • Chronic respiratory issues: Children’s immune systems are more reactive, and once exposed to mold, they will suffer frequent colds and respiratory problems. Once this process starts, they will face reactions to mold, whether it is present at home or school. This can lead to chronic conditions like asthma if you do not treat the mold and health issues. If your kids constantly catch colds or sinus infections, check your indoor air conditions at home.
  • Headaches: Adults experience headaches from mold exposure. However, since we often get them anyway from stress, hormones, or eye strain, it can be difficult to distinguish these headaches from mold-induced ones. When children start getting frequent headaches, there is often an environmental cause. Assuming your carbon monoxide alarms are not sounding, there is likely a mold problem. Arrange for a home inspection to get to the root of these headaches quicker.
  • Abnormal fatigue: If your ordinarily active children complain of fatigue and want to sleep all day, first see if they are sleeping at night. Once you confirm that they are sleeping usually start looking at environmental causes, including mold. While kids may feel more exhausted now due to the current crisis, it is still not normal if they are always sluggish and unable to enjoy their favorite activities. Mold infestation can be a cause of these symptoms.
  • Bedwetting: Mold affects antidiuretic hormones that allow children to wake up to use the bathroom. If your kids are generally good about waking up and not wetting the bed, pay attention if that behavior appears. For younger children, this can also make toilet training more difficult, or you may notice your preteens and teens using the bathroom more frequently. Once you schedule a doctor appointment, call and schedule a mold inspection, too.

Once you confirm mold exposure, remove children from the environment. Use saline sinus rinses to help reduce symptoms, and encourage more outdoor play. Fortunately, mold remediation is considered an essential service, so you should be able to find a professional willing to act on the problem immediately. It is necessary to work to address the mold because otherwise, your children’s symptoms will return.

Exposing children to mold leads to chronic issues that affect their quality of life. You can reduce that exposure by hiring an experienced mold remediation and prevention service. The team at Active Mold Control LLC has been reducing the signs of children exposed to mold in Portland, OR for decades. Contact us today to arrange for an inspection.

Mold and Babies: How Mold Can Affect Your Baby

Most babies encounter a case of the common cold, a headache, runny nose, etc. It’s perfectly normal! You take your baby to a doctor, get some meds, and everything improves.

However, when do these common cold symptoms go from normal to scary? Consistency.

If the prescribed medicine from the doctor does not work, you will begin to raise your eyebrows.

What if the symptoms begin to worsen?

I’m sure that many questions and concerns will come to mind. And it would be best if you were concerned because this could be a mold problem. And as I’m sure you know, mold and babies do not make a good combination.

Mold and Babies

Mold is a very sneaky form of life. It’s the king of hide-and-seek in our world. If you were to go play in the snow without a coat on, you are likely to catch a cold. When your cold symptoms reveal themselves, you have a pretty good idea where they came from. Mold illnesses are different.

The exposure symptoms in babies disguise themselves as other conditions so well that it’s almost impossible to connect the dots without a professional. However, even though both mold and babies love to play, it doesn’t mean that they should play together.

The Science Behind Mold and Babies

The immune system of a baby is still growing, so they are much more susceptible to illnesses. A baby is an easy target! Vicki Lankarge, the author of What Every Homeowner Needs to Know About Mold (And What to Do About It), reported 45 infant exposure cases in Ohio since 1994, and 16 of these infants died. That’s a 36% mortality rate. Why is this stuff so dangerous to babies? Well, when a baby breathes in mycotoxins(a toxic substance produced by a fungus), the blood vessels in the baby’s lungs are weakened, pulmonary hemorrhaging is possible, and even a possibility of bleeding inside the baby’s lungs.

Side note: If a baby has consistent exposure to mold and cigarettes, the chances of pulmonary hemorrhaging increase even more.

When a baby survives a primary condition due to mold, it is likely to follow him/her for a lifetime. The Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology once published a study that surrounded the subject of mold and asthma. According to the study, infant exposure has not yet had a direct link to asthma later on in life. However, it does suggest that there is a link between consistent exposure and the development of chronic inflammation of the lung airways. Chronic inflammation causes wheezing, shortness of breath, chest tightness, and coughing. I won’t go too far into detail here since we’ve recently established a list of moldy conditions that can affect your life forever.

What To Do if You Have a Baby Exposed to Mold

The first thing that you should do is get your baby out of the home immediately. Go to a family member’s house, a hotel, etc. But if you suspect a contamination problem in your home, you must separate your baby from the situation as soon as possible. This can be the difference between your baby growing up healthy and growing up with many health issues. Oh, and let’s not forget about the 36% mortality rate in Ohio.

After getting out of the home, you should schedule an appointment with a team of experts. If you only suspect active growth, ask for a mold inspection, but if you’re 100% sure that you have active growth in your home, let the experts know that you need mold remediation. I would also advise everyone living in the house to go see a doctor. A doctor who knows the connection between mold and babies would be ideal. Do this as soon as possible to take action on any possible health effects.

Most families report that they feel so much better once the remediation process has been completed. If you have active growth in your home, please don’t waste anymore time. Mold has been connected to many health issues, and even death, for people of all ages. This is not just an issue between mold and babies, but for anyone, any age.

The Dangers of Toxic Mold Exposure in Infants

Toxic mold exposure in infants can be a serious condition and negatively affect their fragile undeveloped lungs in a severe way. We are going to start with the basics and then get into some medical studies on the issue:

What is a Toxic Mold?

Mold is a type of fungus that develops in the visual appearance of multicellular filaments called hyphae. Actually, molds have been in existence on earth for millions of years and they thrive in the air and on many surfaces such as walls, floors, and even food where there is the presence of moisture. They produce tiny, lightweight spores which cause the beginning of new mold growth, besides compromising the indoor air quality.

The common types of molds include Aspergillus, Cladosporium and Stachybotrys Atra, commonly known as “black mold“. It takes 24 to 48 hours for molds to germinate and grow, and the spores start to colonize in 3 to 12 days and become visible in about 18-21 days. You can easily distinguish them by their texture and profiles, as some are flat looking while others present themselves with a hairy or bumpy appearance.

Moreover, quite a lot of molds produce poisonous substances called mycotoxins, such as the Stachybotrys Chartarum (Atra), although not to all molds. Vulnerability to such damp and moldy surroundings may bring about a diversity of health consequences to both humans and animals, sometimes even leading to neurological issues such as allergic reactions as well as respiratory problems, and in some cases, death.

Mold infestation in the house interior can cause issues like weakness, light sensitivity, sinus problems, blurred vision, tremors, a general feeling of numbness, concentration, and memory issues in adults as well as in children.

Toxic Mold Exposure in Infants

Different individuals respond to mold exposure in different ways, but toxic mold exposure in infants is especially susceptible to the harmful effects of mold. An infant’s respiratory system is still undeveloped, and his body is unable to the toxins produced by mold.

Black mold is a significant issue in many homes. As maintained by the University of Minnesota, infants and babies can be harmed by the effects of black mold. Thereby leading to the most common severe symptoms.

Respiratory illnesses – signs and symptoms

These airway symptoms present themselves as seasonal allergies. Wheezing can occur periodically and repeatedly, which can be quite a frightening experience for the infant and family.

If a child has asthma, mold spores may trigger or exacerbate an existing attack. Coughing, shortness of breath, runny nose, itchy nose, and nasal congestion may also occur, which can even lead to pneumonia in severe cases, thus, a doctor must assess that young child immediately.

Gastrointestinal issues – signs and symptoms

These problems manifest themselves through nausea and vomiting. A young child may decline to eat and may start losing weight gradually as a result. In addition, diarrhea and abdominal pains may occur. These symptoms progress over more extended periods of time, leading to dehydration, thus, immediate attention from a doctor.

Rashes & Skin Irritations

According to the University of Minnesota, skin rashes or skin irritations can be found present on the skin of an infant who is already exposed to mold. A red, bumpy rash can grow on the child’s body. In addition, the rash can be painful or irritating, making the baby uncomfortable with recurrent crying. However, the rash may sometimes be misguided as a diaper rash if it is visible in the diaper area. Immediate attention of a doctor is n when inflammation occurs in other places.

Mould can affect some babies more than others. All types of mold can cause respiratory problems such as coughing and wheezing and respiratory infections.

If your baby already has asthma, breathing in the spores of mold can make it worse and trigger an attack.

Mould can also trigger allergic reactions and allergic rhinitis. If your baby has allergies to mold, you may notice some or all of these signs:

  • sneezing
  • sore mouth or throat
  • stuffy or runny nose
  • red, itchy, watery eyes

Although babies with other allergies might be particularly vulnerable to the health effects of mold, your baby can react to mold even if he is otherwise healthy. He can also become allergic even if he is not allergic to anything else.

Mold can also affect the immune system. If your baby has a weakened immune system, he is more likely to get a breathing problem near moldy areas.

If mold forms in your home's ventilation or air conditioning, it can increase the risk of rare conditions like hypersensitivity pneumonitis. The symptoms of this are similar to pneumonia, but they can't be cured with antibiotics.

Fortunately, this condition is more common in adults than in babies or children. Symptoms can vary, but they can include:

  • shortness of breath
  • cough
  • muscle aches
  • tiredness
  • fever
  • night sweats
  • occasional weight loss

Once you have removed the mold, you need to make sure that it doesn't form again:

  • Keep your house well-ventilated, and try to get as much sunlight into your home as possible.
  • A damp, dingy kitchen can encourage food mold to grow. Keep the kitchen clean and dry with free circulation of air.
  • Make sure your bathroom doesn't stay wet. Dry it properly after baths, and keep the windows open when possible.
  • Check your house for leaks or water seepage. If you find any, get them repaired straight away. Otherwise, the mold can come back.
  • Carpets, rugs, and curtains can absorb moisture very quickly. Always keep them clean and dry. Wash and dry them in the sun regularly or get them professionally cleaned from time to time.
  • Having the air conditioning on can help to prevent mold build-up to some extent, especially in muggy weather. But make sure that your air conditioner is kept clean and serviced regularly. Mould can form in the AC filters, and spores can spread.
  • Mould can sometimes form on humidifiers as well. If you're using one, clean it regularly according to the manufacturer's instructions.

References

S. Lillard-Roberts. Symptoms of fungal exposure (Mycotoxicosis). Published in 2006. Retrieved from www.mold-survivor.com/symptoms.html.

Kristie Jernigan. Black mold symptoms in infants. Published in 2015. Retrieved from https://www.livestrong.com/article/206953-black-mold-symptoms-in-infants/

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