When it comes to lead poisoning, children are the most susceptible. In addition to their immune systems not being quite as strong as adults, they are not as cognizant of the risk factors as adults. As a result, it’s up to parents to protect their kids from lead poisoning as best as possible.
Knowing the ways that lead can infiltrate your home and affect your family is obviously the first line of defense. For instance, if your home was built before 1978, all of its paint, both inside and outside, is potentially lead-based, so be aware of the dangers that go along with that. In addition to that, here are several ways that you can help protect kids from being exposed to potentially harmful lead.
Regardless of lead poisoning, it’s usually good to get your kids in a habit of washing their hands regularly. But it’s even more important if they are at risk for lead contamination. Children should be washing their hands with soap and water before they eat or go to sleep. It may not be such a bad idea to do so after playing outside either.
For parents who work around lead or have been exposed to it in some way, it’s important to shower before coming into contact with your children. It’s also important to wash any clothes that may have come into contact with lead separately so they don’t mix with your children’s clothes and risk contamination .
Cover Bare Soil
Kids are bound to play outside, so you’ll want to make sure they stay away from any areas that could be contaminated with lead. This will include any area where there is paint that could be peeling or chipping, particularly with older houses. However, bare soil can also be a risky area, as bare soil can contain lead that’s been present for years.
A possible solution to this is to plant grass over bare soil, or at least cover it up with wood chips or mulch. Doing this will lessen the risk of kids being poisoned by lead that’s hidden in soil, creating one less area of concern for parents.
Parents can’t be too careful when it comes to the toys their children play with every day. Older toys, much like older houses, may have been made with lead-based paint. It’s also best to avoid buying toys from private vendors or discount stores unless you know with certainty how they were made.
It’s also important for parents to stay up to date on toys that may have been recalled due to high levels of lead. Even items a child may use like jewelry, costumes, or cosmetics may contain harmful substances like lead, so allows check if they could have been made with lead or found their way onto a recall list.
Diet can play an important role in protecting children from lead poisoning. Feeding your child healthy foods is important, including snacks. If you can, try to feed children foods that have a high amount of vitamin C, calcium, and iron.
It’s also important to for children to eat their meals inside so that dust and soil that could be contaminated with lead can’t find its way to their food. It’s also important to be cognizant of food that could have been contaminated with lead in its packaging or in the glassware in which it was cooked.
Perhaps the best way to guard against lead is with regular doctor appointments. Blood tests can show if your child has too much lead in his or her system and if his or her body is disposing of lead properly. Doctors will be able to identify a potential problem and give you directions on how to properly deal with the issue to help your child avoid lead poisoning.