The natural instinct for parents is to protect their children from harm and keep their minds and bodies healthy. This includes selecting nutritious food, teaching them good habits and making sure they stay active. However, sometimes parents may be inadvertently exposing their children to a dangerous environment and not even realize it. This is too often the case with lead poisoning.

Lead poisoning, caused by breathing in lead dust or eating something that has been contaminated with lead, has permanent effects on children. Even low levels have been shown to affect a child’s IQ, academic performance and focus. Oftentimes, the source of the lead is found in everyday household items, such as ceramic plates, imported toys and paint.  Fortunately, lead poisoning is a preventable condition. However, being informed and taking steps to protect your family from the common forms of lead poisoning is important.

Take a minute and ask yourself the questions below. If you answered “yes” to at least one question, your child may be at risk for lead exposure and poisoning.

  • Was your house built before 1979?
  • Has your child recently traveled to Latin America?
  • Is your child a recent refugee, immigrant or international adoptee?
  • Do you use ceramics for cooking, eating or drinking?
  • Does someone in your home work in the auto body or construction industries?
  • Does your child play with imported toys that are painted or have decals?

Since most children with lead poisoning do not look or act sick, a blood test is the only way to know if your child has lead poisoning. Ask your FHCSD medical provider today about getting tested and ways to protect your family from lead exposure: (619) 515-2300.