Exposure to lead and its effects on children
Lead is a naturally occurring element in the Earth’s surface used in many different industries such as manufacturing and metal works. This element is also important for the commercial production of storage batteries. But although lead has many different uses, being exposed to it can be very dangerous.
According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 500,000 children ages one to five have higher level of lead in their blood each year. There are many possible causes of lead exposure among children. For instance, according to the Williams Kherkher website (view website), some cases of lead poisoning have been a result of defectively manufactured toys and children’s product contaminated with lead. Apart from children’s toys, other possible sources of lead are the following:
- Candy with wrappers contaminated with lead
- Turf fibers from turf playing fields
- Walls coated with lead-based paint
- Water due to lead-containing water pipes and fixtures
It is difficult to detect whether your child is suffering from lead toxicity. But when lead accumulated inside the child’s body, it may result in serious, sometimes even life-threatening medical complications. If you think your child is exposed to lead and is experiencing one or more of the signs and symptoms below, consult with your doctor immediately:
- Weakness, fatigue
- Nausea, vomiting
- Hearing loss
- Loss of appetite
- Abdominal pain
Prolonged exposure to lead may cause the child not to reach certain developmental milestone, and may even result in learning difficulties and developmental delay. In serious cases, irreversible brain damage may occur.
Unconsciousness, seizures, and even death can also be among its complications. So it’s very important to prevent lead exposure. As a parent, here are some tips to keep lead at bay:
- Only buy children’s products that are lead-free
- Wash children’s hands and toys to avoid lead ingestion
- If your house is coated with lead-based paint, clean it up or coat it with a lead-free one
- Have your water tested for lead contamination
Prevention is always better than cure. By keeping in mind these tips above, you are making sure that your kids are safe from toxic amounts of lead.