Lead Poisoning is dangerous because a person may be exposed to lead for a long time without knowing it. Since symptoms do not immediately appear upon exposure, Lead Poisoning can cause a lot of damage over time. It is important to have your child checked for Lead Poisoning, and be mindful of ways to prevent Lead Poisoning.
Lead Poisoning Defined
Lead Poisoning occurs when there is a dangerously high amount of lead in the bloodstream. The lead can build up over long periods of time without the individual noticing. Lead Poisoning causes both mental and physical developmental problems in the affected child, and in severe cases Lead Poisoning is fatal.
Symptoms Of Lead Poisoning
Sadly the symptoms of Lead Poisoning are often not noticeable until the blood levels are extremely high, so it is important to have your child tested at a pediatric care
clinic. The symptoms of Lead Poisoning differ slightly according to age. Symptoms that might be noticeable in an infant include delayed growth and learning. Children’s symptoms of Lead Poisoning usually include irritability, fatigue, abdominal pain, vomiting, learning problems
, and loss of appetite. The child may also complain about a metal taste in the mouth.
Diagnosing Lead Poisoning
Diagnosing Lead Poisoning is as simple as drawing blood to check for lead. Lead levels over 10 micrograms per deciliter are considered dangerous. The CDC suggests that children be tested for Lead Poisoning at age 1 and 2, but see a doctor if symptoms show up at any age or if you know you’ve been in contact with lead.
Causes Of Lead Poisoning
Lead Poisoning occurs when lead is inhaled, swallowed, or absorbed through the skin. The causes of Lead Poisoning can be blamed on human industrialization. Manufacturing, the burning of fossil fuels, and mining have caused the naturally occurring metal to become more common in our living environments. Before 1978 when it was banned, lead was commonly used in paint. Other common carriers of lead include cosmetics, old water pipes, contaminated soil, and food stored in painted bowls or cans sealed with lead.
Risk Factors Of Lead Poisoning
Risk factors of Lead Poisoning include age, place of birth, hobbies or occupation, and living in older housing. Young children are more likely to become exposed to lead by eating paint chips or playing in the soil, and they also tend to absorb more of the metal. Developing countries are less strict with lead exposure laws, so living in a developing country puts you at greater risk of Lead Poisoning. Working with stained glass or refinishing furniture may expose you to lead. Finally, living in an old house or apartment is a risk factor because the paint likely has lead in it.
Treatment For Lead Poisoning
Treatment for Lead Poisoning begins with removing the lead source. Kids with higher levels of Lead Poisoning may need to do Chelation therapy, which causes the lead in the bloodstream to bind to a medication to be urinated out. Another treatment option is EDTA therapy, a chemical used to clean the blood of lead, and it is used in the most severe cases.
Recovery From Lead Poisoning
In most cases recovery from Lead Poisoning is achieved by simply removing the source of lead and receiving any needed treatment. If the blood levels of lead became too high before treatment, it may be impossible to reverse the damage done.
Prevention Of Lead Poisoning
Prevention of Lead Poisoning is a matter of being cautious. Avoid potential sources of lead at all costs. If you live in an older home cover the paint with new paint, and never sand or chip the lead-based paint. Always wash your child’s hands after they play outside and especially before they eat. Finally, if you have lead pipes, using only cold water for drinking and cooking can be helpful in prevention of Lead Poisoning.