Mold outbreaks are so common now that even schools aren’t safe from it. Some countries took action against it where the government ordered to shut down the schools for remediation when the problem was significant. Children are sensitive and more prone to allergies than adults; therefore, an extra care is needed for them at school. Since school mold problems are occurring all over the nation, it is important to not dismiss mold as a potential problem in your own child’s school. Regular and rigorous inspection and professional remediation are needed to save children from toxic allergies and illnesses.
The recipe for mold is really simple: moisture + time + materials. Mold loves moisture, so poor ventilation, leaky roofs, and pipes must be avoided in schools at any cost. Mold can grow on wood, carpet, vinyl, drywall, concrete, paper, insulations, and pretty much anywhere slight moisture is present. Even indoor areas that have not had water damage, but have elevated humidity levels can develop mold over time. According to Healthy Schools Network, the modern design and infrastructure believe in seal tight buildings that block the air exchange. Therefore, school management should take care to adequately ventilate, clean and monitor indoor air quality and humidity levels at all times.
School mold problems have become a center of concern for schools because they cause allergies, respiratory problems, and more severe illnesses. With recent occurrences in Texas, Connecticut, Maine, Ohio, Maryland and even within our own area of Kansas City we must start evaluating the risk of mold exposure in our schools and requiring accountability in our districts. Kindergarten children of age 4 to 6 years have sensitive lungs; therefore, they catch asthma and other lung problems sooner than expected. They breathe in more air, often put their fingers in their mouth, and less likely to wash their hands so they take in the mold along with other dirty particles. As a result, infections spread out and children with a runny nose, irritated eyes, cough, and chest pain are frequently encountered in schools. Most parents and doctors initially dismiss these symptoms as a common cold. However, children that have continuous issues with illness should seriously be tested by a mold doctor. The symptoms of mold exposure are vast and vary person to person. Young children and women seem to be the first to shown signs of mold exposure due to more sensitive immune systems.
There are several kinds of mold and almost all are equally hazardous. They release spores for reproduction that double the effects of mold and cause allergic reactions. Mold is usually black, orange, purple, or green in color but can vary in color and consistency based on the type of mold spore. Check out our list of “Common Molds” for a list of molds, how to identify them and symptoms that they cause. Many times the presence of mold can be detected by smelling a bad odor. However, this is not always the case. Many times mold is hidden in unseen areas like wall cavities where visible signs or odor are not readily noticeable. According to EPA, entirely preventing mold is nearly impossible and the only possible way of controlling it is to limit moisture. Therefore, schools should make arrangements for proper cleaning and routine inspections by a certified mold professional. If your child suffers from severe allergies or is continuously sick after the school year begins, we recommend that you bring it to the attention of school officials for a mold testing to be performed. In addition, we recommend that you consult a mold doctor to determine if your child is suffering from mold exposure.