ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Lead Poisoning: Keeping our children safe

Updated on October 2, 2012

 

Lead poisoning is a dangerous condition, caused by swallowing or inhaling lead. Based on figures obtained from the CDC web site, over one million children today are affected by lead poisoning, apx 24 million housing units have elevated levels of lead, which of over 4 million are homes to young children.
Our young children face the greatest risk. Their bodies easily absorb lead. They put lots of things into their mouths, some of which may contain lead.

Lead can affect adults, and even harm an unborn baby.

Sources of Lead

Lead paint, which a child may inhale or swallow as lead dust or chipped or peeling paint, is a major source. Children may also chew on surfaces with lead paint.

Homes built before 1978 may have lead paint inside or outside. Soil, water and food can also contain lead. Other sources include some imported vinyl miniblinds, some "folk" medicines and cosmetics, older toys, older furniture, imported candies and food, firearms with lead bullets, car batteries, radiators, some inks, etc.

Effects of lead poisoning

Most children show no symptoms. That's why regular lead screening is so important. But even a low level of lead in a child's body may harm the nervous system, including the brain, and interfere with growth, because it can interfere with the production of blood cells and the absorption of calcium for the growth of healthy bones, teeth, muscle contraction and nerve and blood vessel function. It can also make learning difficult.

A high lead level in the body can lead to coma, convulsions or even death.

Symptoms of lead poisoning

They may include:
- Stomachache or headache.
- Fatigue and/or irritability.
- Constipation.
- Poor appetite and/or frequent vomiting.
- Pale skin (due to anemia).
- Clumsiness, weakness and loss of recently learned skills (at higher lead levels)

The Signs and symptoms usually don't appear until there are dangerous levels accumulated. Symptoms may be mistaken for flu or other illness. Consult your health-care provider if you notice any of these symptoms.

Lead screening

Discuss your child's need for screening with his or her doctor. Screening for lead is the best first step toward preventing lasting harm from lead poisoning. In general, high-risk children need lead screening. A child may be at risk if he or she:
- lives in or regularly visits a home built before 1978.
- lives in or regularly visits a home built before 1978 that has recently been remodeled.
- has had a brother or sister with lead problems.

State or local officials may have other screening guidelines. Also, check CDC web site for additional screening information.

Talk to your child's doctor. Find out if screening is recommended for your child and when it should be done. For example, it may be recommended at ages 1 and 2, when blood levels are often at their highest in children exposed to lead.

Reduce your child's risk.

Take the following steps.
- Have your paint, water and soil tested by a professional if you suspect lead. Hire a certified professional to remove or cover lead paint, if found.
- Have your child wash his or her hands often.
- Provide 3 healthy meals a day, with foods high in iron, calcium and vitamin C, and low in fat.
- Don't let your child chew on (or put in his or her mouth) things that may be dirty or have lead paint on them.
- Clean weekly. Use a solution of warm water and cleaner to wet-mop floors and wipe windowsills and other surfaces. Use a HEPA filter when vacuuming carpets.
- Have children play in sandboxes, not on bare soil.

Comments

Submit a Comment

No comments yet.

working

This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

Show Details
Necessary
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Features
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Marketing
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Statistics
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)