As the holidays draw closer, there are news stories and articles about unsafe toys which raise potential risks for lead poisoning for our community’s children. Of all the safety hazards for young children, this is one of the most preventable kinds. Tragically, almost 1 million children in the United States have elevated levels of lead in their blood. Below, I have summarized points from the American Academy of Pediatrics regarding lead screening for children. Click here for the entire fact sheet.
How can children be exposed to too much lead?
If you are renting in DC, you can click here to learn more about your rights to a lead free living space.
Once the lead enters to the child’s body, it travels through the blood stream and can be stored in the bones. Very high levels of lead can cause problems such as:
In some cases where the child ingests a large amount, you may see immediate vomiting, headaches, stomach pain or weakness. If you see these sudden changes get the child medical help immediately and explain what the child may have been exposed to.
Most children with high lead levels do not show obvious signs until they reach school age. It may show up and be mistaken for learning disabilities or behavioral problems when it is really the lead.
What can you do?
The only way to know for sure is to have your child’s lead level tested. Lead screening tests use either a small amount of blood from a finger prick or a larger sample from a vein in the child’s arm. These are necessary to measure the level of lead in the child’s blood.
We have experience assisting families whose children have been injured by excessive lead exposure, as well as other cases of illness as a result of exposure to other toxic substances in DC. For information about your legal rights, please click here or call Regan Zambri & Long at (202)463-3030Tagged child safety, Lead Exposure