Children’s Health Concerns Following Flooding
Flood damage always brings a measure of health concerns along with it, with subsequent problems such as mold becoming very real threats in as little as 48 hours following a flood event. What is less commonly known is the fact that children may be even more susceptible to these health threats than adults, primarily due to the development and strength of their immune systems. Children eat more food, drink more fluids, and breathe more air than adults, making it important to make sure that each of these elements are as safe and clean as possible. Children are also known to play and crawl around as well as placing objects in their mouths, increasing the risk of exposure to dangerous chemicals and organisms in the immediate environment.
The next few blog posts will be devoted to the effect of flood damage on children, and today we will focus on mold:
Mold appears in the wake of any type of water damage, and can remain in drywall, wood furniture, cloth, carpet, and other household items for an extended period of time. Exposure to mold may cause allergic type reactions such as sneezing, watery eyes, and skin rashes. It can also trigger asthma attacks. It is important to dry out water damaged areas within 48 hours to prevent mold from making an appearance.
Children are in many cases more susceptible to mold, particularly those children with pre-existing allergies and respiratory conditions. Smooth, hard surfaces should be cleaned thoroughly with soap and water, then dried out completely. Those items made from more absorbent materials should be thrown out and replaced, just for good measure. This would include paper, cloth, wood, upholstery, carpets and padding, curtains, and stuffed animals.
If the mold is present in large amounts, then you probably want to bring in professional mold remediation services to handle the problem. When doing the cleanup on your own, remember the following steps:
– Clean and dry hard surfaces such as countertops, showers, tubs, and kitchen areas.
– If an item is moldy and cannot be cleaned, get rid of it.
– Use a cleaner that has been approved for the elimination of mold.
– Do not use bleach to kill mold. It will not be successful.
– Do not mix cleaning products.
– Wear a respirator and gloves to avoid inhaling or contacting mold.
Homes and apartments that have suffered severe water damage will be very difficult to clean up. It is recommended that children do not stay in these buildings during this time.