I recently encountered a child who has been having chronic cough for the past two to three months. In children with chronic cough, a detailed history of the environment that the child lives in is extremely important to find out whether there are any hidden trigger factors at home. After asking the usual questions, his mother eventually asked whether drying clothes indoors could be the culprit?
One of the main reasons why you should NOT dry clothes indoors is because it can raise the humidity of the room by 30% or more, making it an ideal environment for mould to thrive. Mould is a type of fungus that grows in damp areas. It releases tiny particles called spores that cause harm to the body when inhaled.
Mould growth due to indoor clothes drying
What are the risks of indoor clothes drying?
Research has shown that exposure to a damped environment can cause the following health issues:
? Asthma flare-ups – a child with well-controlled asthma suddenly has frequent wheezing attacks
? Cough and flu
? Increases the numbers of house dust mites which thrive in a warm, damp environment leading to allergies (asthma, eczema, allergic rhinitis)
? Developing a lung infection due to breathing in spores from the mould called Aspergillosis
How to prevent drying clothes indoor?
? Dry your clothing at washing line or dryer. If these options are not available, avoid hanging clothing in the living area or bedrooms.
? Dry clothes as early as possible in the morning to take advantage of the sun’s heat
? Ventilate rooms regularly by leaving doors and windows open to allow air to circulate
? Invest in extractor fans in the bathroom and kitchen to improve ventilation
? If your home has little exposure to sunlight, invest in an electric dehumidifier to reduce air moisture
Dr. JoAnn Rajah is a child specialist that provides pediatric care to baby and children in Selangor and KL. Her core strength lies in diagnosing early signs of child health issues and guiding parents on how to manage them.