Does your kid have the sniffles, or is it something else? Children, especially those with strong allergies or asthma, can be very sensitive to air quality. If your kid complains of certain symptoms or smells at school, there could be a mold problem at school. This article will give you some basic information on how mold forms in schools, symptoms to watch out for, and what you can do as a parent to get to the bottom of it.
Why and Where is Mold in Schools?
Mold is a very simple process: all it needs is water and somewhere out-of-the-way to grow. Mold can grow in specific school rooms (such as gyms and locker rooms, ventilation ducts and ceiling tile spaces, basement, and boilers). Moisture can be brought in via water damage, poor ventilation, or the dew point, which affects schools during the summer when there is low maintenance. The spores can then be moved around via the HVAC system, especially if air filters are low quality.
What are the Symptoms of Mold Exposure?
Depending on the severity of your child’s mold allergies or other conditions related to mold or allergens in general, mold exposure symptoms can manifest as a type of Sick Building Syndrome with the following conditions:
- Sneezing and coughing
- Nasal congestion or postnasal drip
- Irritation of the nose, throat, and eyes
- Watering eyes
- Shortness of breath or wheezing
Note that with certain types of mold, such as toxic black mold, these symptoms can be more pronounced and include additional complications.
What Can You Do as a Parent?
If you have concerns about your child being exposed to mold spores at school, you’ve got two major things you need to do as a parent:
Get Involved with Your School
If you haven’t already, join the PTA (Parent-Teacher Association) for your school. This will put you in contact with the people who are involved in interfacing and listening to the concerns of parents, and who have the tools for change. Ask questions of the school.
Talk to Other Parents
Compare notes with other parents. If their children are experiencing similar issues, you’ve got a solid reason to ask for mold testing and inspections to be done. Schools have regular maintenance walkthroughs, and you can often ask to be present at the next one.
We’re here to help with mold testing and remediation. Fiber Control, Inc. is a full-service hazardous material inspection and remediation service, including asbestos, mold, and lead inside and outside of schools. Contact us today, and make sure to also read our other articles on understanding, identifying, and dealing with mold.