Advice for Parents of Children with Lead Poisoning
You may be the parent of children with lead poisoning and not even know it. Why is that? Because lead is not detectable to the eye, nose, or taste. And yet this poisonous metal can be anywhere and everywhere; the paint on your walls, the air you breathe, the water you drink, the soil under your feet. And do you want to know what the worst part is? Lead can even be found in the very toys that your children play with. Small children tend to put things in their mouths including toys, and while that is a normal part of their oral development, it is also one of the several ways in which infants can be exposed to lead. That’s enough right there to make a parent paranoid, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing; after all, remember that perfect paranoia is perfect awareness.
Lead poison symptoms in children and newborns
· Delayed development.
· Learning problems.
· Appetite loss.
· Loss of weight.
· Abdominal pain.
· Loss of hearing.
· Learning problems.
· Slowed growth.
You would obviously grow concerned if you observed these symptoms in your child. But what if you didn’t notice them? Or rather, what if there was nothing to notice at first? As it turns out, lead poisoning symptoms often appear only dangerous quantities have accumulated in the child’s blood. Then again, the only safe quantity is zero. According to the CDC, “no safe blood lead level in children has been identified. Lead exposure can affect nearly every system in the body. Because lead exposure often occurs with no obvious symptoms, it frequently goes unrecognized.” One of those systems that lead affects is the nervous system and the brain. That cause the symptoms listed above, as well as potential complications such as lower IQ, decreased ability to pay attention, underperformance at school, among others. The damage caused by exposure to lead is irreversible, but fortunately, it can also be prevented.
How to lower the risk of lead poisoning in children
· Test your child for lead. A simple blood test is the only surefire method of finding out whether a child has a high lead level. The majority of children with high levels of lead in their blood do not show any symptoms until it is too late, so if you suspect that your children has been exposed to lead, do not hesitate to contact your primary care provider and request a blood test.
· Test your home for lead. If your house was built prior to 1978, chances are it contains lead-based paint. When the paint peels and cracks it releases lead dust which children can swallow or breathe in. Contact your local health department about testing paint and dust in your home for lead.
· Test tap water for lead.
· Use wet paper towels to clean up lead dust. Clean around windows, play areas, and floors. Wash hands and toys often with soap and water. Always wash hands before eating and sleeping. Use contact paper or duct tape to cover chipping or peeling paint
· Safe renovation. Sanding, cutting, replacing windows and other renovation activities can produce dangerous lead dust. Use EPA-certified contractors only.
· Discard lead-containing toys and toy jewelry. Visit the Consumer Product Safety Commission to stay updated on toys and children’s jewelry connected to lead poisoning.
· Avoid jobs and hobbies that entail working with lead-based products, such as stain glass work, auto refinishing, construction, and plumbing.
· Avoid toys, toy jewelry, traditional remedies, and candy imported from countries where there is no ban on the use of lead.
· Feed your child healthy food with calcium, iron, and vitamin C to help keep lead out of the body.