How Does Mold Exposure Affect Children?
Mold not only destroys your home, but it can negatively affect your children’s health, impacting the mental and physical well-being of your child.
Unfortunately, there is no single sign of mold exposure, so it’s essential to keep an eye out for the symptoms outlined below and learn to identify behaviors associated with respiratory, neurological, skin irritation, and various ailments you may notice with your children's health and behavior.
There are many cases in which a child’s symptoms reflect those of a harsh health condition. However, the culprit ends up being mold toxicity. Children can have a significant impact on mold exposure that mimics other illnesses. A cough, a sneeze, or even ADD, can be a misdiagnosis, and the mold exposure continues to cause harm to the child.
Many mold exposure symptoms in children overlap with illnesses such as the common flu or as complicated as Autism or concerns over lifelong degenerative conditions.
However, if you know or suspect mold is present in your home and your child is ill, it's for action if your child's symptoms do not resolve and you ask yourself why your child is always sick.
The most significant risk comes with the toxic black mold, Stachybotrys Chartarum. While many species of molds carry great danger, the infamous toxic black mold is the most severe.
As toxic black mold suppresses the immune systems of children, toxic black mold can become deadly as the children's body becomes more and more immunocompromised, becoming less able to fight against viruses, bacteria, fungi, parasites, and other infections,
Furthermore, if your child is always getting sick with cold or flu-like symptoms, it may be a sign that they are immunocompromised due to the toxic black mold exposure.
Symptoms of Mold Toxicity in Children
The severity and length of exposure time determine symptoms in individuals. Each child will react differently to a mold allergy.
The longer the mold is present, the worse the symptoms become. The longer the exposure, the longer mold has had to grow and breed. It is best to take immediate action on mold as the first step to protect your child from adverse effects.
Respiratory And Allergy Symptoms
Mold commonly causes respiratory illnesses in both adults and children. Black mold exposure can have severe consequences for young children, particularly newborns, as it increases their risk of developing hemorrhagic pneumonia. Tragically, this can lead to death.
Many studies have found respiratory distress correlated to mold exposure in kids. When a child inhales the mold spores, it irritates the lining of the lungs and causes a reaction. The reactions typically mimic those seen in seasonal allergies.
At first, your child may mimic symptoms of allergies or the flu. These respiratory symptoms include:
- Shortness Of Breath
- Nasal & Sinus Congestion
- Coughing, Sneezing, or Wheezing
- Itchy/ Runny Nose
- Sore Throat
A child with a respiratory illness, such as Asthma, will set the playing field for exposure to toxic mold to exacerbate the pre-existing respiratory condition. Flare-ups of these conditions are common when exposed to mycotoxins and poisonous mold.
Suppose your child develops these symptoms but doesn’t get better quickly. In that case, it may be a sign that it’s caused by mold exposure, and you need to seek out the expert of a mold toxicity physician to run diagnostic testing and evaluate the levels of toxins in the child's body.
Stachybotrys Chartarum exposure to children can cause some significant neurological effects. Mycotoxins release from the Stachybotrys mold and travel on the spores to be inhaled by the child without anyone being aware of mold hiding behind a wall, in the carpet, or air conditioning system of the home.
Mycotoxins are made of fatty acids and find themselves in the body, being lipophilic and embedding into the fatty tissues of the body, particularly the brain, which is comprised mainly of adipose tissue.
Once in the brain, these toxins can cause kill or damage neurons, impairing brain function and thus developing neurological symptoms and conditions.
Neurological symptoms are the most severe health effects of black mold exposure and can cause the following mold toxicity symptoms in children:
- Mood Swings
- Sensory Sensitivity
- Shortened Attention Span
- Memory loss / Memory problems
- Lack of Focus
- Shaking / Trembling / Tremors
- Slow Reflexes
- Cognitive Dysfunction
- Confusion / Disorientation
Eye and Skin Irritations
Skin irritations can be one of the first tell-tale signs that mold exposure is occurring. Mold spores irritate the skin quickly, sometimes as simply as eczema flare-ups.
Mold exposure can cause irritated skin, especially in young children. Children may present with rashes or suffer from constant itching. Unfortunately, the eyes can also be affected.
A child suffering from eye irritation caused by mold exposure may experience the following:
- Eczema or flare-ups of existing eczema
- Flare-ups of existing skin conditions
- Dry, scaly skin
- Itchy skin
- Redness and Swelling (Dermatitis)
- Itchy/Watery Eyes
- Blurry Vision
- Red/bloodshot Eyes
- Eye Soreness
- Inflammation of Eyes
- Swollen Eyelids
Other Mold Allergy Symptoms
The side effects mentioned above are serious, but unfortunately, they’re not the only ones you should look out for.
Over time, mold exposure can also cause children to experience the following:
- Weakened Immune System
- Hair Loss
- Chronic Ear Infections
- Chronic weakness or Ongoing Fatigue
- Reoccurring Colds and Flu-Like Symptoms
- Aches such as muscle pain, joint pain, abdominal pain, or chest pain
- Gastrointestinal issues, such as diarrhea and vomiting