A mother fears her moldy apartment is leaving her children with deadly health problems.
Nikki Lazarou has taken her children to the hospital three times in the past year due to severe lung problems.
“It’s so bad in the children’s room that I won’t allow them to sleep there, my goodness [older] Son has asthma and every time he’s in there he coughs up his lungs,” she explained.
The mother-of-three is now avoiding spending too much time at her home in Wood Green, London, after her youngest child “went out of breath” after sleeping there.
She told My London that her toddler was taken to the hospital by her GP with a lung infection called bronchitis.
The boy then contracted the infection a second time, developed croup and was taken straight to the hospital by his mother.
There is evidence that mold and fungi are a major trigger for asthma attacks and can make symptoms worse in people with other lung conditions.
A study published in 2012 found that young children exposed to mold at home were at an increased risk of developing asthma by the age of seven.
Nikki, who is pregnant, must now fear for her own health and the health of her unborn child.
She needs to write her GP to Haringey Council asking for an urgent review of her living situation.
But the concerned mother said that letter and the local authority’s reported actions prompted almost no help.
“With all these problems, the Council does not help, it’s like, what are they waiting for? Are you waiting for my kids to die?” Nikki added.
The mother-of-two believes the situation is affecting not only her children’s physical health but also their mental health.
She claims that a lack of sleep due to the conditions affects her boys, who regularly suffer from meltdowns.
To keep her children out of her bedroom, the whole family sleeps in one room – which is a struggle for her autistic son.
5 top tips against damp and mold at home
Asthma and Lung UK recognizes that mold can aggravate or trigger asthma symptoms in sufferers.
They share their top 5 tips to start fighting mold in your home today:
1. Open windows and doors to allow air to circulate. However, be wary of high pollen or air pollution days if these are triggers for you.
2. Try not to dry clothes indoors. If you have nowhere else to dry, open a window if you can.
3. Use extractor hoods in the kitchen and bathroom, or open a window when cooking or after showering.
4. Close the door of the room you are in when cooking or showering to avoid condensation in other rooms
5. Try to keep your home at a good background temperature so that all rooms never get too cold, at least 15 degrees
“He had a big meltdown and said he was sick of staying here and being on the floor.
“I tried to tell him ‘calm down, I’m trying my best,’ but he got angry and tried to jump down the stairs,” she said.
“Mentally and physically I shouldn’t be here with my kids, it’s not safe for them to be here,” she explained.
In November, leading charity Asthma and Lung UK warned that mold and damp problems are getting worse as temperatures drop – amid fears the cost of living crisis could see more families affected.
They added that cold and flu viruses, which can cause respiratory infections, can also thrive in colder temperatures and poorly ventilated, humid environments.
Last year, two-year-old Awaab Ishak died of respiratory failure after being exposed to mold in his own home.
Commenting on Nikki’s case, Councilor Dana Carlin said: “I am appalled at the conditions in which this family is living and I would like to offer my sincere apologies to Ms Lazarou and her family.
“We have inspected the property and arranged suitable temporary accommodation for the family to move into while we carry out the repairs to their home.
“As Council we have put in place key dampness and mold management procedures and have a robust action plan in place to identify cases in our homes and deal with them quickly and effectively.
“Our priority is that our residents live in safe and well-maintained homes and we are fully committed to a zero-tolerance approach to moisture and mould.
“We have streamlined our reporting process to ensure all reported dampness and mold are correctly reported to the appropriate service and residents can email us directly at [email protected].”
How moisture and mold affect my health
The NHS says the problem with mold is that it produces allergens (substances that can cause an allergic reaction), irritants and sometimes toxic substances.
If these are inhaled or get into the skin, it causes uncomfortable symptoms.
First, these toxins cannot do any harm in small amounts. But when they’re constantly in the air, it starts to cause side effects.
People living in homes with mold are more likely to:
- have difficulty breathing
- respiratory infections
- Asthma, including asthma attacks
- problems with the immune system
www.the-sun.com/health/7501274/mouldy-home-hospital-children-lung/ Our mouldy home has put my little boy in hospital three times – will he have to die for the council to listen?