• Lead Poison Prevention Week Oct. 19-25, 2014

    Children often die after ingesting even a small amount of a household substance. Unintentional poisoning will kill an estimated 40 children this year and send 90,000 to the emergency room. Poison control centers in the United States are expected to receive 1.2 million calls this year regarding children ages 6 and under.

    It doesn’t take much to make a small child sick. Kids have faster metabolisms than adults and anything they ingest will be absorbed into the bloodstream very quickly.Lead is harmful and can be deadly.

    Please Help Prevent Childhood Lead Poisoning this Week and at Halloween

    Please warn your families that eating lead-contaminated candy is particularly harmful to infants, young children, and pregnant women.

    • Lead poisoning can harm a child’s brain and cause learning and behavior problems that may last a lifetime.
    • There is no known safe blood lead level. 
    • Most children who are lead poisoned will not look or act sick.

    The only way to know if a child is lead poisoned is by doing a blood lead test.

    • Encourage parents to bring their children in for a simple blood test if they suspect their child has eaten candy that may contain lead.Medi-Cal, Healthy Families, and CHDP cover lead screening tests if the child meets the financial criteria and the age period (periodicity). 
    • Although gasoline and paint are no longer made with lead in them, lead is still a health problem. Lead is everywhere, including dirt, dust, new toys, and old house paint. Unfortunately, you can’t see, taste, or smell lead.

    Lead is found in:

    • House paint before 1978. Even if the paint is not peeling, it can be a problem. Lead paint is very dangerous when it is being stripped or sanded. These actions release fine lead dust into the air. Infants and children living in pre-1960’s housing (when paint often contained lead) have the highest risk of lead poisoning. Small children often swallow paint chips or dust from lead-based paint.

    • Toys and furniture painted before 1976.

    • Painted toys and decorations made outside the U.S.

    • Lead bullets, fishing sinkers, curtain weights.

    • Plumbing, pipes, and faucets. Lead can be found in drinking water in homes containing pipes that were connected with lead solder. Although new building codes require lead-free solder, lead is still found in some modern faucets.
    • Soil contaminated by decades of car exhaust or years of house paint scrapings. Lead is more common in soil near highways and houses.

    • Hobbies involving soldering, stained glass, jewelry making, pottery glazing, and miniature lead figures (always look at labels).

    • Children’s paint sets and art supplies (always look at labels).

    • Pewter pitchers and dinnerware.

    • Storage batteries.

    Children get lead in their bodies when they put lead objects in their mouths, especially if they swallow the lead object. They can also get lead poison on their fingers from touching a dusty or peeling lead object, and then putting their fingers in their mouths or eating food afterward. Children also can breathe in tiny amounts of lead

    You can’t tell if candy has lead in it just by looking at it or tasting it.

    • Parents should avoid giving children imported candy or snacks, especially those candies and snacks imported from Mexico which contain chile spice or tamarind. 
    • Lead in candy can come from many sources: the soil where chiles are grown, the factories where candy is made, pottery containers, and the ink on the candy wrappers.
    • Parents need to be vigilant and familiarize themselves with candies that have tested high for lead.  Search for lead contaminated candies at: http://www.cdph.ca.gov/healthinfo/discond/Pages/CLPPBChildrenAtRisk.aspx.

    Healthy foods can protect the child from lead poisoning.

    Children 1-6 years old are most at risk for lead poisoning.  A good diet can help prevent lead from being absorbed into a child’s body.  Recommend to parents that their child should eat each day:

    • 3-4 foods high in calcium (cheese, milk or soy milk, spinach, yogurt, tofu, leafy greens, calcium enriched orange juice, low-fat custard, and corn tortillas)
    • 3-4 foods high in iron (beef, chicken, turkey, eggs, dried beans, iron-fortified cereals, tofu, collards, kale, and mustard greens)
    • 3-4 foods high in vitamin C to help the body absorb iron (oranges, tomatoes, limes, bell peppers, berries, papaya, jicama, and broccoli)
    • Reduce fatty foods such as fried foods, fast foods, and “junk” foods (donuts, potato chips, and cupcakes). However, some fat in the diet is very important for brain development under age two. Milk and butter are healthier sources of fat.

    Memorize the poison control hotline number, 800-222-1222, and make sure your babysitters know it. However, call 9-1-1, not poison control, if a child is having trouble breathing or having a seizure. Do not induce vomiting or give the child any fluid or medication unless directed.

    For more guidelines to protect your family from tragedy, visit the following site www.safekids.org.
    Let’s not lose even one more child to lead poisoning.


    posted to Cedar Street Times on October 17, 2014

    Topics: Front PG News, Uncategorized


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