Signs and Symptoms
With low levels of lead poisoning, most children show no clear symptoms. Sometimes, however, they will have:
1. Loss of appetite.
5. Behavior problems.
Severe lead poisoning:
1. Stomach pain.
3. Lack of physical coordination.
4. Loss of recently acquired mental skills.
What to do now
1. Ask a pediatrician whether you can have a test of your child’s blood for lead; this is the only way to know the level in your child’s blood.
2. If test results show an high lead level 10 micrograms per deciliter or more, according to the CDC – talk to your doctor about ways you can protect your child from further exposure.
3. In severe cases (45 to more than 69 micrograms per deciliter), a treatment that increases the body’s ability to eliminated lead (chelation therapy) can be given.
When to call a doctor
1. If you think that your child has been exposed to lead; for example, if your house paint is old and peeling or if your house has recently been renovated.
How to prevent it
1. Consider having the paint, water, and soil in and around your home tested; you may then need to rid your home of lead hazards.
Other steps to take:
1. Keep your house as clean and dust-free as possible. Pay attention to areas where dust tends together, such as windowsills. Frequently damp-mop floors and damp-dust surfaces.
2.Take precautions against lead hazards if you are going to renovate your house. If possible, children and pregnant women should move out of the house during renovation. If this is not possible, they should take extra precautions to avoid being exposed to lead.
3. Wash children’s toys and bottle nipples frequently.
4. Unless a lead test shows that your tap water is safe, use bottled water or a water filter that removes lead from the water. Use only cold water from the tap for drinking, cooking or preparing baby foods.
5. Wash your hands before preparing food, and wash your child’s face and hands before meals.
6. Feed your child balanced meals that include plenty of calcium and iron-rich foods; these can reduce lead absorption.
7. Never purchase, store, or heat foods in cans manufactured in another country; these may contain lead.
8. If you work with lead in your job; remove your work clothes and shower before going home.