Lead poisoning is a real threat to kids! This happens everyday AND it's preventable and there is a simple SCREEENING for it. 😲
Sources of lead exposure:
Lead-based paint in older homes
Children put everything in their mouths and unknowingly ingest lead from deteriorating paint.
A parent may be bring lead home from jobs such as welding, demolition, remodeling construction or industrial mining. Parents can minimize exposure at home by changing clothes, showering before leaving the workplace, and washing work clothes separately. In addition, employers should be provide protective equipment and monitoring of lead in the workplace.
Water supply systems can contain lead pipes leaching lead into the water. In Flint, Michigan, a lead crisis happened in 2014 ~ the water supply was changed from the Detroit Water Authority to the Flint River. This shift caused pipes to leach lead which was undisclosed to the residents of Flint for 2 years! Almost 100,000 residents were exposed and 25% of the areas children were exposed to toxic lead!
It is difficult to know if food is contaminated with lead ~ frustrating! However, lead testing is available and can help determine exposure in young children. In 2023, there have been reports of lead contamination of baby food pouches leading to lead poisoning in a large number of children across multiple states. The brands implicated are Wanabana, Schnucks and Weis. Processed food is more likely to be contaminated and impacts young children the most so being mindful of food choices is particularly important.
In 2023, under the Infrastructure Act, the EPA has charged the nation's water authorities to replace NINE MILLION lead pipes in 10 YEARS. This essentially ELIMINATES lead exposure through water. The CDC currently estimates that 24 MILLION children are at risk for lead poisoning due to household conditions.
Effect of lead exposure in kids:
✅ Brain and nervous system damage
✅ Slow bone growth with muscle and joint pain
✅ Learning disabilities
✅ Attention and focus difficulties
✅ Hearing and speech delays
➡️ Remove lead based paint
➡️ Implement strict regulations for lead content in products like toys, candy, jewelry
➡️ Improve water infrastructure
➡️ Encourage iron rich foods like whole grains, green veggies. Low iron worsens lead poisoning.
➡️ SCREENING for early detection is key! All children should be tested for low iron AND lead between the ages of 12-15m. This is also why your child's well-checks are so important!
NO LEAD LEVEL IS SAFE FOR ANY CHILD!