With so many recalls of toys last year, the awareness of paint containing lead has never been higher. And the worry doesn’t stop at just toys. There are lots of places where children can be exposed to lead. Having grown up in a new home myself and now living in a new(er) home with my own family, I never really gave much worry to the thought of lead poisoning. But if you’re living in an older house (one built before 1978), you have more cause for concern. In general, pediatricians don’t generally even test for lead in children, unless you meet certain criteria. I know that our pediatrician hasn’t even asked us whether or not we live in a house that was built before 1978. That’s kind of disturbing.
But you can take certain measures to protect your child:
- Avoid purchasing non-brand or older toys likely to contain lead paint.
- Do not give young children toy costume jewelry, since it has been associated with the highest lead content.
- Encourage your children to wash their hands frequently, especially before eating and after playing.
- Before moving into an older home or apartment, check for possible lead problems.
- If you have lead pipes, use cold water for preparing formula, drinking or cooking. Run tap water one to two minutes before each use.
- Repair areas where paint is flaking or peeling before putting cribs, playpens, beds or highchairs next to them
These are just a few of the things you can do to keep your child safe. You can find more information out from the American Academy of Pediatrics by simply clicking on the drop down button on the left hand side and choosing “lead exposure.”
Source: Tampa Bay Online