Mold is a common trigger for many kids.
What Is Mold?
Mold is a microscopic plant-like organism. It can grow on many surfaces, and prefers damp places like bathrooms and basements. Mold reproduces by sending spores into the air.
How Can I Help My Child Deal With It?
- Fix leaky pipes, faucets, or roofs. Clean and repair roof gutters regularly.
- Make sure your bathrooms and basement are well ventilated. Install and use exhaust fans to help lower moisture in these areas.
- If you have any damp closets, clean them well and leave a 100-watt bulb on all the time to increase the temperature and dry out the air.
- Run a dehumidifier in the basement or other damp areas. Empty and clean the water pan often.
- Remove wallpaper and wall-to-wall carpeting from bathrooms and basement rooms.
- Run the air conditioning (this is especially helpful if you have central air), making sure to change the filter monthly.
- Avoid houseplants, which may harbor mold in their soil.
- Clean any visible mold or mildew with a solution that's 1 part chlorine bleach to 10 parts water. Don't paint or caulk over moldy surfaces without cleaning them first.
- When painting bathrooms or other damp areas of your house, use anti-mildew paint.
- If there's visible mold on ceiling tiles, remove and replace them. Also check to see if there's a leaky pipe that may be causing the problem.
- Replace or wash moldy shower curtains.
- When mold counts are high, kids should take their allergy medicine before going outdoors. After playing outdoors, they should bathe and change clothes.
- Drive with the car windows shut and air conditioning on during mold seasons.
Reviewed by: Stephen F. Dinetz, MD
Date reviewed: 11/18/2017