Lead poisoning in children

Toy recall

(Photo: marioanima/Flickr/CC-BY)

We have all heard the warnings about lead poisoning. In recent years there have been emergency recalls issued by the government for consumer products, many of which were toys and jewelry. Children ages 6 and younger are still developing their nervous systems, and lead poisoning can hurt progress. Young children are prone to sucking and chewing on toys, some of which have been found to have high levels of lead in them.

Effects and symptoms of lead poisoning

Some of the toxicity levels maybe below government limits, but they could still cause harm. According to the National Safety Council in the U.S., the problems can include “learning disabilities, attention deficit disorders, behavioral problems, stunted growth, impaired hearing and kidney damage” in children. Pregnant women, too, need to take extra care to avoid being exposed to lead, as it can harm the fetus.

Some of the symptoms of lead poisoning are low appetite and energy, anemia, attention problems constipation, fatigue, headaches, irritability, loss of developmental skills, slow growth, aggressiveness and abdominal pain. If this requires a trip to the doctor and you are stuck between paychecks, it may be wise to find out about different forms of credit, like a pay day loan, to help get you through.

Other ways lead can cause poisoning

Food and drinks can also be contaminated by using lead-glazed cookware, which is largely used in areas in Asia and Latin America. Clay pots that store water to keep cool or hot beverages served in glazed mugs can also contain high levels of lead. A noticeable red flag for lead can be detected by the glass-like shine on clay items. It can also leak out from earthenware that is heated or from storing vegetables and fruit in them.

Lead paint in older homes and pipes

It has been estimated that some 38 million homes contain lead-base paint. When the paint becomes old and begins to flake, it turns to dust, causing breathing hazards. Many older homes have lead pipes or lead-soldered copper pipes. It is recommended to run the water for 30 to 60 seconds before drinking it, and hot-out-of-the tap water should never be used as drinking water or for cooking. It should also not be used for mixing infant formulas.

Public awareness is essential

Lead poisoning can build up in a body over a period of time. But if ingested in large amounts, it can be fatal. If a child swallows a piece of metallic jewelry with high levels of lead, it can kill him. According to Discovery Health, “One in 20 preschoolers in the U.S. has high levels of lead in his/her blood, according to a medical encyclopedia.”

The need for public awareness is indeed a precaution that we all must take to keep ourselves and our children safe from lead poisoning. Hospital bills are no fun, but if you need help to pay for the expense, you can apply for a small installment loan fast.



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