Babies are exposed to germs the minute they enter this world. From putting their hands in their mouth to the air they breathe, there are allergens and bacteria that they’ve never encountered.
It’s to be expected for babies to develop a runny nose or run a fever every now and then as they build up their immune system. This is actually healthy, as they will be able to fight off infections and germs later in life with a strong immune system.
But what does it mean when your baby doesn’t seem to get better, even after a doctor’s visit and prescription? If their symptoms worsen or they seem to be getting sick frequently, it might be something else: mold.
Mold is known to cause health problems, but it can affect newborns more than it does older children and adults. We’ll discuss why below.
How & Why Mold Affects Babies
Mold reactions can happen after just one encounter with mold. It may be hard to tell with a new baby where their symptoms are coming from. Mold affects babies in much the same way it does adults — at first.
If your baby experiences any of the symptoms below, it may be an indication that mold is present in your home:
- Restless sleep
Mold symptoms in babies are easy to miss because they are fairly generic. But these symptoms can quickly give way to a more serious condition that we’ll talk about in the next section.
Why is mold more dangerous for babies?
It’s exactly what you’d expect… Babies’ developing immune systems cannot handle strong allergens like mold.
Some species of mold produce mycotoxins. When inhaled, these chemicals weaken blood vessels in the lungs, leading to a condition called pulmonary hemorrhaging. This condition is, literally, bleeding within the lungs, and it is fatal in 30-40% of cases.
Healthy adults don’t have this reaction to mold, but those with respiratory conditions and autoimmune diseases can also suffer pulmonary hemorrhaging. Likewise, the elderly can develop pulmonary hemorrhaging due to the age and fragility of their blood vessels.
Get a Mold Inspection Before Bringing Baby Home
If the facts above are an eye-opener for you, good! There’s nothing more important than bringing your baby home to a clean, safe environment.
Before your baby comes home from the hospital, you can ensure that your home is mold-free by having a professional inspection.
Mold can be present in your home without any signs. It does have an odor and can be a variety of colors, but if it is growing in a hidden location within your home (inside the walls, under a sink, or in the attic), you may not see it or smell it. But that doesn’t mean it’s harmless.
By having your home inspected for mold, you are protecting your baby from all of the following:
- General sickness – Even if no mold allergy present, mold can irritate the sinuses, eyes, and skin, resulting in a runny nose, itchy, watery eyes, and excess mucus for infants.
- Severe mold allergy – In the event that your baby does have a mold allergy, combined with their underdeveloped immune system, this is a recipe for disaster. Allergy testing isn’t recommended in children under 2, and especially not for infants, so it could be a long time before you know for sure if your child is allergic to mold. Don’t risk their health in the meantime.
- Pulmonary hemorrhage – As described above, this condition is dangerous, fatal in many cases. Not only is the condition itself very serious, but the treatments for pulmonary hemorrhage are invasive, painful and expensive. And, finally, the aftermath of bleeding in the lungs can affect the baby well into adulthood.
Mold exposure along with another environmental factor like cigarette smoke, smog, or pet dander can greatly increase a baby’s chances of developing lifelong respiratory issues.
While there is no direct link between mold and asthma, there are many studies that prove a link between mold exposure and chronic respiratory inflammation.
Just as you will baby-proof the rest of your home, schedule a mold inspection to make sure your baby will come home to a mold-free environment.
Mold inspections are quick, easy and affordable — especially when compared to the cost and hassle of having mold removed from your home and repairing damage it has done. A professional mold inspection is the least you can do for your new addition, and it can also benefit other family members with mold allergies or mold sensitivity.
What is a Mold Inspection?
If you know your home contains mold, you need to have it removed right away, especially before bringing a newborn into the home.
But if it’s only a suspicion, a professional mold inspection from Pure Maintenance of Central Illinois can settle your concerns one way or another.
A professional mold inspection sometimes begins with a mold air test. These tests can reveal the specific room where mold growth is concentrated.
Share any information that could be helpful with us, such as water leaks, major spills, and flooding that may have occurred. Excess water often leads to mold growth. By telling our specialists about previous water issues, we can concentrate our search to those areas of the home.
A mold expert will check obvious areas like the baseboards, upholstery and basement, but they also have the capability to look in your crawl space, inside vents and HVAC system, and behind interior walls to find hidden mold as well.
After their inspection, the team will share their findings with you. If mold is present, it may be necessary for your family to evacuate the home while mold removal is completed. In most cases, though, the mold removal experts can quarantine the area affected by mold so it doesn’t spread during removal.