Lead poisoning in children- learn more about the causes, symptoms and treatments.

A health official research confirmed that more half a million U.S. children are believed to be poisoned due to lead. And this count has been increasing ever since. Many state and medical rules mandate the blood lead test for young kids but it has been found out that millions are failing this in turn resulting the children to be vulnerable to poisoning. Despite all the efforts to clean up lead, America still poses a serious problem with lead poisoning in children

What is Lead Poisoning and why is lead dangerous:

Lead is a highly toxic metal and is very dangerous to humans. Lead effects on children act as a potent poison. Not only is lead poisoning severe but also fatal in many cases. This occurs when lead build up in the body due to various reasons.

Lead is found in the art supplies, contaminated dust or the gasoline products (majorly sold outside USA and Canada). Lead is also found in abundance in paints, including the house walls pained or the toys etc. Lead accumulates gradually in the body causing lead poisoning over a period of months or years. And it turns out that the young children are affected the most due to the same. Kids are used to put the lead containing objects in their mouths and getting the lead in their bodies. Or even touching the lead and putting it in the mouths might be the natural reasons for lead poisoning in children.

What are the symptoms of Lead poisoning in children:

The primary lead poisoning symptoms in children have been found out to refuse or reduce intake of food, violent head-banging, sleeplessness, skin lesions, and vomiting sensations. Eating dirt and weird behavior in a kid and suffering from anemia is a common finding in lead-poisoned kids. America needs more testing and preventive measures to curb lead poisoning in children. Too much lead can harm developing brains and can result to a lower IQ in kids. Few more side effects of lead poisoning are that it damages the child’s brain, kidneys and any other organ. Lead poisoning long term effects in the reduction of the kid’s intelligence, impair hearing abilities, change in child’s behavior and many other such problems. Lead exposure can nearly affect every system in the body. School children with a history of lead exposure show poor attentive skills and poor impulse control with poor performance academically - these effects of lead poisoning can follow through their life.

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Overall, there are varied symptoms of lead poisoning: Abdominal pain

  • Abdominal cramps
  • Aggressive behavior
  • Sleeplessness
  • Headache and irritation
  • Constipation
  • Loss of developmental skills in kids
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fatigue
  • Anemia
  • High Blood Sugar
  • Memory loss
  • Kidney dysfunction
  • Behavioral problems in kids along with lowering IQ levels due to long term effects of lead poisoning

The lead poisoning symptoms may also include the below in case of emergency:

What causes lead poisoning:

Most cases of lead poising occur when the lead is ingested by one or the other means. Although it is not visible to naked eyes, it can still be smelled or tasted. Ingesting lead can sicken people of any age.

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  • House paints before 1980’s in the United States or chipping paints from the old houses
  • Toys made and painted outside the United States
  • Bullets, fishing sinkers are made of lead
  • Curtain weights has lead content
  • Pipes or sink faucets containing the drinking water as well
  • Pollution from the exhausts of the car into the soil
  • Art supplies
  • Jewelry, potter etc. as well have lead content
  • Battery storage
  • Eye Kohl or eye liners have lead content
  • Some ethnic medicines are known to have lead content
  • Some spices and cookware
  • Kid’s candies sometimes have lead content too

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How to diagnose lead poisoning:

Lead poisoning can be diagnosed only with a blood sample. No amount of lead is safe in human blood. Also, the levels as low as 5 mg per deciliter in the blood sample can be related to a health problem in children. Although, there could be additional tests to look for any other complications like bone marrow biopsy and x-rays etc.

Can lead poisoning be treated?

As a treatment, the first and foremost thing to do is to locate the source of lead and remove it. Keeping kids away as it can cause lead poisoning in children easily. If the source cannot be removed, it should be sealed, and no one should go near it.

Chelation therapy can be used for severe cases. This treatment helps to bind the lead content in a body and flush it out of the system via urine. Another method is via Activated charcoal which as well binds the lead and removes via defecation from the gastrointestinal tract.

Although impact due to exposure to lead is irreversible, lead poisoning children can benefit from therapy which can lead to improvising their cognitive abilities.

How to prevent lead poisoning?

prevent-lead-poisoning

Simple measures that we need to follow to avoid lead poisoning, which includes:

  • Avoid painted cans or toys from other foreign countries.
  • Keep the kids safe and out of dust. Keep the house surrounding clean and remove dust and dirt.
  • Do not use the chemically heated water for cooking. Use only cold water to prepare the food.
  • Do not consume the hot water from the taps directly. Use cold water to drink, or boil to drink warm water. Use a filtering device for water at home.
  • Test your lead levels regularly.
  • Clean the faucets regularly to avoid any sediments.
  • Sanitize kid’s toys and bottles regularly.
  • Use lead-free paint for your home.
  • Teach kids to maintain hygiene by washing their hands every time before meals and when they come home from outside.

We have parents who are not aware of the lead poisoning in kids. The parents should be mindful of the risks and must avoid any such places to live which has lead content in their surrounding. The kids, in turn, have to pay for the foolishness that the parents do.

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