The Dangers Of Lead Poisoning In Children

This guide shows how to keep your child from getting lead poisoning and how to tell if they are at risk.

Are you thinking of giving your house a fresh coat of paint? Well, if you live in a house built before 1978 it could have some harmful effects on your child due to lead poisoning.

Lead poisoning becomes poisonous when the paint cracks, chips or peels. Elevated levels of lead are most dangerous to children under the age of six. Children who have high levels of lead get it from breathing or swallowing lead dust or from eating soil or paint chips that contain lead. Babies are at risk more because they are always sticking their hands or objects into their mouths and these may have lead specks on them. Also every time a window or door is opened with paint, friction along the sides create a fine dust that can spread all around the house.

If lead builds up in the body it inhibits cell function which can cause damage to kidneys, nerves and red blood cells. Its primary target is the central nervous system. Babies and toddlers who suffer from lead poisioning are more at risk for developing delays. There are different levels of lead poisoning in the body the higher the level the worse the damage is. If a person has levels of lead poisioning over 80 it can cause anemia, hearing loss, swelling of the brain, convulsions, coma and even death.

There are signs of lead poisoning to look for in children. A child would experience fatigue, headaches, irritability, stomach aches and cramps, muscle and joint pain, changes in school performance, behavorial and learning problems, hearing problem and slow growth. Children aren't the only ones affected by lead poisoning so are adults they would experience digestive problems, difficulty concentrating, memory problems, muscle and joint pains, high blood pressure, reproductive problems such as birth defects, infertility and misscarriage, hearing loss and nerve disorder. If your child or you experience any of these symptoms your should contact your doctor immediately to be tested for lead poisoning.

A child that has lead poisoning is told to eat lots of calcium and iron rich foods because this helps inhibit the body's absorption of lead. They also have to have their intake of fatty foods limited because fat helps the body absorb lead. Children who have high levels of lead end up having to take a drug called chelation which is a special chemical that binds to lead is administered intravenously the lead is then excreted.

There are safe ways to get rid of lead if your house paint has lead in it. First to cut down on dust mist old window frames with water before sanding them, lay a tarp around your foundation before stripping paint off and dispose of paint chips on a daily basis. To remove lead permantely from your house is to have it professionally removed by an a lead abatement contractor but this can end up being expensive.

If your house was built before 1978 you should have your child's blood screened for lead. If you find out that your home is contaminated you should follow these steps to reduce the risk of lead poisoning:

Regularly with a wet mop or sponge wipe windows and floors off around doors. Other places are stairs, railings and porches.

Eat low-fat meals which are high in calcium and iron.

Make sure you wash childrens hands especially before they eat.

When it comes down to it before you buy a house ask how old the house is since federal

law now requires homeowners and landlords to disclose information about lead-based paint before selling or renting and if you know your house is older than 1978 have it tested by the health department who will come in and take samples of dust, paint , soil and well water from your home because lead poisoning is a very serious issue concerning you and your family's health.

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