This is why you should never let your children jump in piles of leaves
Nothing says autumn is here like beautifully colourful leaves piling up everywhere.
And it is easy to understand why children find it almost impossible to resist the temptation to jump in, sending red and orange leaves flying into the air all around them.
But did you know you should actually not let your children jump into piles of leaves – at least not without taking a look at just what it is they are leaping into first?
For instance, piles of wet leaves (and if the leaves have been sitting in a pile for a while, chances are the bottom ones are wet), will almost always contain bacteria such as mould. For the most part, coming into brief contact with mould has no effect on our health whatsoever, but it could be harmful to children who suffer from asthma or have an allergy to the fungus.
This is what Sarah A. Denny, MD, a paediatrician at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, told The Sun:
“Children who have asthma and also have a mould allergy are at risk of having an asthma exacerbation from the mould exposure. Children who are allergic to mould should avoid raking leaves or playing in leaf piles, especially wet leaves.”
Mould could also be bad news for someone who has an immune system which for whatever reason is impaired.
Make sure it's safe first!
Also be aware that rocks and sharp sticks could potentially be hiding in larger piles of leaves, and, if the pile has been sitting in the same spot for days, bugs and creatures like mice or frogs could have taken up residence there.
Also, in a tragic incident in Oregon, US, two little girls were killed a couple of years ago when the driver of an SUV failed to see them playing in a pile of leaves in the road, and drove straight over them.
The point is... kids love to jump in piles of leaves – and they totally can – just make sure it is safe first.