Let’s Talk About Lead: What Every Parent Needs To Know

ADC_leadPaint_BabyBottle_300x250I was recently contacted on behalf of the Ad Council, the Coalition to End Childhood Lead Poisoning, the Environmental Protection Agency and Housing And Urban Development (HUD) in the hope to help spread more awareness about lead-based poisoning. These four agencies have joined forces to create a new website devoted to the dangers of lead. It’s called Lead Free Kids and I urge every parent and caretaker to check it out to learn more.

Lead is a very toxic metal that affects more than one million children today. It can be especially harmful for children under the age of six. It’s important for every parent and caretaker to know the dangers associated with lead, where to look for it, and the symptoms of lead poisoning.

Where lead can be found:

  • If you live in a house or apartment that was built before 1978, there is a very good chance that it was originally painted with lead-based paint. This is important to know because even though there may be several layers of new paint over the original paint, paint chips and dust from deteriorating paint may contain lead.
  • Lead can be found in the soil around your home and in your drinking water.
  • You can also find lead in older playground equipment, artificial turf made from rubber, and older or antique toys.
  • Although there is a U.S. ban on the use of lead in the manufacturing of children’s products that does not mean that all toys and other children’s products are guaranteed safe. There have been recent recalls associated with lead in certain toys, jewelery, and other products for children.  Keep an eye out for all recalls, including children’s products at www.recalls.gov.

Symptoms of lead-poisoning in children:

  • Symptoms vary from person to person and will be different in children and adults.
  • Children under the age of six are at particular risk because they often put objects in their mouth or don’t wash their hands frequently.
  • Symptoms in children can include irritability, loss of appetite, weight-loss, lethargy, abdominal pain, vomiting, constipation, anemia, kidney failure, hearing loss, delayed development, learning disabilities, and behavioral problems.
  • If you suspect lead-poisoning, call your doctor to get a blood test.

Ways to protect your family and children from lead:

  • Keep your home clean and dust-free.
  • Make repairs to any deteriorating paint.
  • Wash children’s hands, toys, pacifiers, and bottles often.
  • Make sure to feed your family healthy meals. Children who eat a healthy, balanced diet absorb less lead.
  • Test your home for lead-based paint if it was built before 1978. You can find more information about how to test your home through the Environmental Protection Agency.
  • If you are renovating or remodeling your home, make sure that your contractor has been trained in lead-safe practices.

To learn more information about the dangers of lead and what to do about it, please visit Lead Free Kids.

To help spread information about the dangers of lead poisoning, the folks behind Lead Free Kids have offered one of my readers a give-away of a key light, power clip magnet, and a water bottle. To enter the give-away, just leave a comment below. For additional entries, please do the following:  tweet this post, follow AYMB on twitter, follow The Coalition to End Childhood Lead Poisoning on twitter and/or on Facebook, post this information on your Facebook page, and/or write about this issue on your blog and include the Lead Free Kids website.

I’ll draw a comment number using www.random.org on Wednesday, July 7th. Good luck and please keep spreading the word about the dangers associated with lead.


Disclaimer: I was not compensated for this post or give-away.