Is My House Making My Kid Sick?

I don’t know about you, but this fall and winter, my family has been over run with colds, flus, viruses, croup, pneumonia, running noses, coughs….the list goes on! If there was some sort of illness going around, we were bound to have had it!

When I last wrote about being sick, it was towards the end of November. All 4 of us had already been sick the first time around, and my husband was moving into the onsets of a really bad bout of pneumonia that would last well into the New Year!

Had I known then that it was only the beginning of our battle with illness, I might have headed south for the rest of the winter!

What has really been a topic of conversation however, is about the health of our 2 year old son.

Back History

When he was only about 8.5 months old, December of 2011, he came down with his first diagnosis of pneumonia. After some antibiotics, he was good to go. Then again that next spring (May 2012), he ended up with it again. Again, antibiotics cleared him up.

Then this past fall while I was in Paris, I got some texts that my husband had to take my son to emerg at midnight, and that he had croup. I came home from Paris about 5 days later to a sick wee man, and pretty much since then, he has been non stop wheezing, runny nose, goopy eyes, congested etc, etc. We may get a weeks break from it, but otherwise has been continuous.

In Novemer of 2012, we finally took him to the doctors because he was still not seeming to be over croup completely. At that point were given a puffer for him with Ventolin and told that should help. But it really made things worse. Made him cough so hard that he was getting sick when trying to go to sleep at night.

We stopped that and went back to the doctor, things not having improved. Were then given QVar (steroid based puffer) for him to take twice a day, every day for at least the fall and winter months.

We were also told that there was a possibility that our son, Mason, could have the onsets of asthma, but that he didn’t diagnose it as asthma at such a young age.

is my home making my kid sick

Is My House Making My Kid Sick?

We were questioned about what we heat the house with, which is where the title of this post comes into play.

Being that I am a work at home Mom, we are able to basically heat the house with our woodstove. We love it. My husband is able to get the wood off family property so it is free, and we use our oil furnace as back up really all winter long.

What we didn’t think of is that the smoke from the woodstove could be what is triggering our son’s breathing issues and why he seems constantly sick. Oh, and did I mention that his room is right above the area of the basement with the woodstove? Ya, that.

Another thing that someone has mentioned to us, is that it could be the wood itself. We keep all the wood for the winter (like 5 full rows as high as the ceiling) in the basement. We have never been bothered by it, but there could be spores or traces of mold on the wood that is also affecting our son.

BUT….we don’t know for sure that ANY of that is what is affecting him.

Where Does That Leave Us?

Last spring and summer – he was fine, not sick all summer. So we are hoping that soon, very very soon, we can stop using the woodstove if spring really, finally gets here! Then we will see if no longer using it seems to help our son.

Obviously if we think that really could be the culprit, we will figure some way to keep the wood outside, or have to really cut back on using the wood stove, or stopping it all together.

Either way, it is not fun having a sick toddler for months on end, and not really knowing what could be causing this for him makes it so hard.

Is it just simply that he is sensitive to viruses going around and picks things up easier? Or, is it that the way we heat our house is causing him issues?

Time will tell I guess.

Have you had any experiences similar to this? Or do you have any recommendations for me?