28 October 2020
Keep Your Children Safe from Lead Poison
Keep Your Children Safe from Lead Poison

 

Every year over 500,000 US children are exposed to harmful levels of lead. Because symptoms are hard to recognize, many children go un-diagnosed for long periods of time. Learn to see the signs of possible lead poisoning and respond quickly to maintain the safety and health of our precious little ones.

 

Assess Your Home and Objects

Although the government banned the use of lead in products in 1978, it can still be present in those homes built before that year. Any time remodeling is done, older paint can be uncovered and the dust made from the new construction can make its way into the home and air. Children are more susceptible because they are more likely to ingest it by touching things and then putting their fingers into their mouths. Older pipes can also leach lead into drinking water. Even the soil around older homes can contain higher than normal levels of lead.

It is important to know that despite the ban in the United States, other countries still use lead paint in toys and jewelry.

Vintage toys & furniture found at flea markets and yard sales could also contain lead.

 

Learn to Know the Signs in Children

Over time, as toxic levels rise in the body, you may see the following:

  • learning disabilities or developmental delays

  • loss of appetite

  • fatigue

  • weight loss

  • irritability

  • abdominal pain or vomiting

  • constipation

  • hearing loss

Since these symptoms can mirror the things you may see in a child that has the flu or a cold, it is important to know the history of the home you are residing in. Long term exposure can lead to kidney damage, complications of the nervous system and delays in brain development.

 

Prevention and Treatment

Start by testing your house if you feel lead-based paint may be present. Test kits are available at most home stores or you could hire a professional lead inspector. If the test is positive, it is recommended that you hire a company to access and recommend a plan for removal.

 

  • Frequent hand washing for smaller children and cleaning toys can eliminate the transfer of dust into their bodies.

  • Remove shoes before entering the home to lessen soil coming in.

  • Dust and clean surfaces regularly and address any peeling paint.

  • Eating a healthy diet can lower lead absorption. Children especially need enough calcium, vitamin C and iron in their diets to help keep lead from being absorbed.

A simple blood test can detect lead poisoning, and in most cases, medicine can eliminate the lead from the body.

 

For more information please visit:  www.cdc.gov/nceh/lead/default.htm

 

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