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Lead Poisoning in Children

Aug 28, 2008
Lead poisoning in small children has become more widespread. As a parent, you should educate yourself in the causes, symptoms and treatments of overexposure to this dangerous mineral.

This type of poisoning is caused by a child's exposure to products that contain lead, which is a heavy metal that is found in the earth's surface. Overexposure to this metal can cause vomiting, stomach pain, headaches, anemia, seizures, muscle weakness, and hair loss. Anatomically speaking, lead poisoning can affect the brain, bone marrow, and the kidneys.

A lowered level of lead in the body can also cause complications in children. These youngsters may suffer a drop in their IQ, have problems concentrating and learning, and exhibit behavioral disorders.

More than 4% of all American children are suffering from lead poisoning and the leading product that can cause it is old paint that is found in older homes and buildings. Toddlers and small children can be infected by putting lead-based paint chips in their mouth or inhaling dust particles that have specks of paint in them.

Other products that may contain unhealthy levels of lead include food or juice stored in foreign cans or improperly fired ceramic containers. This mineral can also be found in water that travels through old fashioned lead pipes which were also used in older buildings.

There are certain precautions that you can take to protect your children from lead poisoning. You should try to keep your child away from any peeling paint, particularly if you live in a building that was constructed before 1978. You should scrape any of these areas and seal them with new paint, which is all lead-free. You should also make sure that all waste is cleaned up if you are in the process of renovating an older home. If your neighbors are doing any remodeling, your children should wipe their feet and wash their hands any time that they have been in contact with the work area.

If you do live in an older home, you should make an appointment with your doctor to have your child checked for lead poisoning, even if you have not noticed any paint chips or other products present that may contain the metal. Many states offer free lead screenings through their health departments and some school systems require this testing to be done before your child can enroll in school.

For children who do test positive for lead poisoning, most of these youngsters require no treatment. The doctor will give you some guidelines to help you find the source of the lead so that you can remove it. Within a few months, the doctor will check your child's levels again, and in most cases, the levels will return to normal on their own. In a few of the most serious cases, the doctor may have to prescribe your child medication to bring the most serious lead levels down to normal.

If you have several children who have all tested positive for lead poisoning, the doctor will contact your local health department, who will send specialists to visit your home and remove any lead-based products that are present.

Lead poisoning is a serious condition, but with early detection and proper actions on your part as a parent, it is easy to control.
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Find helpful and creative ideas for parents and grandparents while you shop our affordable kids furniture. For more information, visit this article on wooden toy boxes .
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