“Lead poisoning is one of the most preventable environmental diseases among young children,” says Marissa J. Levine, MD, State Health Commissioner of Virginia. National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week was held in the month of October to raise awareness on the steps one can take to protect their loved ones from the dangers of lead.
Lead poisoning among kids is considered to be one of the most preventable diseases, but thousands of kids living in the US still manage to show elevated levels of lead that could be causing significant damage to their overall health. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that more than 4 million households in the US have kids who have been exposed to high levels of lead, and close to half a million kids live with levels that are high enough to cause some serious and permanent damage. Sounds scary, doesn’t it?
Lead poisoning takes place when kids breathe in or swallow lead. This can be particularly damaging for newborns and kids under the age of 6. Lead can also pass from the mother to the unborn child, with the lowest of levels also causing harmful effects. To make matters worse, the damages caused by lead poisoning never go away as they impact the nervous system and the brain, slowing down growth, leading to speech and hearing problems and causing problems with learning.
That said, lead poisoning is entirely preventable. “As we become more aware of lead poisoning, we find more and more sources in our environment,” says Diane Calello, MD, Medical Director of New Jersey Poison Center. Major sources of lead poisoning include lead based bullets, drinking water, lead-contaminated dust, lead-based paint, soil from homes made prior to 1978, imported food, cosmetics, pottery and even certain medications.
The only way to prevent damage is to prevent exposure, and the following steps should help you ensure that you manage to save your child from the dangers of lead poisoning.
Step 1 – Test Your Home for Lead
Testing your home for lead is essential if you have young kids or pregnant women in your household. This is incredibly essential for homes made prior to 1978, but you need to check your surroundings in newer homes as well. If you do find elevated levels of lead in or around your home, hire professionals to remove the source of lead.
Step 2 – Test Your Child for Poisoning
Even if your kid seems healthy, make sure to ask the doc to check them for levels of lead since the effects of lead poisoning aren’t noticeable. A simple blood test can measure the level of lead in your child’s body. Professionals recommend screening for kids between the ages of 1 and 2.
Step 3 – Switch to Lead Free Ammunition
Lead free ammunition is a boon to gun lovers and hunters. It saves them and the environment around them from the dangers of lead, and it ensures the safety of their loved ones and their prized game. Better yet, lead free bullets are known to cost the same and are also known to offer a far better performance as well!
Don’t wait for lead poisoning to take a toll on your lives to take preventive measures. If exposure does happen, help is a phone call away. And even if you’re looking to simply educate yourself more on the dangers of lead poisoning or are trying to figure out how to truly eradicate the dangers of lead poisoning around your home, give the experts a call today!