Protect Kids from Lead Poisoning
Think your children are protected from lead poisoning because you live in a newer
home? Think again.
Lead poisoning is often linked with the paint of older homes. But, children may also
be exposed to lead from water pipes or the soldering on pipes, and from brass and
chrome-plated brass faucets, especially when hot water is used. In fact, lead may
be found in many parts of a home, including soil, food, or even the air.
So how can you protect your children from lead poisoning, no matter where you live?
First, ask your family healthcare provider or pediatrician whether your child's blood
needs testing. The younger the child, the greater the risk of lead poisoning. Children
at risk of lead poisoning should have their blood tested as often as your healthcare
provider advises. Look carefully for signs of lead poisoning. These can include:
Loss of energy
The National Institute of Mental Health says that lead may put a child at higher risk
for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
To prevent lead poisoning, don't let your child chew on anything covered with paint.
If your home was built before 1978, contact a professional to have the paint tested
for lead or to remove lead paint from your home. Also, have your home's water tested
for lead. Always let tap water run for a few moments before using it and cook with
cold tap water only.
Encourage your children to wash their hands before meals. Serve them foods rich in
iron and calcium. This can limit the amount of lead they soak up. Good choices include
eggs, lean red meat, beans, and dairy products.