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According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, children between the ages of 1 – 5 years old are at risk for lead poisoning because they often place their hands and objects in their mouths that may contain lead. Lead poisoning is linked to anemia, learning/behavior problems, hearing loss, hyperactivity, neurological and kidney damage.
The good news is that lead poisoning is preventable by taking a few steps to stop a child from coming into contact with lead.
- Wash child’s hands and toys regularly, because dust and dirt can have lead in them
- Mop regularly, because household dust can contain lead
- Keep windowsills clean and check for peeling paint. A child may eat paint chips that may have lead
- Cover bare soil with grass, mulch or wood chips, because a child may play in contaminated soil and get it in their mouth
- Avoid giving a child home remedies, because some can have high levels of lead in them
- Avoid eating imported candies from Mexico
- Check child’s toys and jewelry that may have been recalled, because they contain lead
- Use cold tap water for drinking, cooking and making baby formula. Higher levels of lead may be found in hot tap water
- If an adult works with lead on their job or hobbies, such as stained glass, bullet making, using a firing range, soldering, etc.,
the adult should shower and change clothes before holding or playing with a child
It is recommended that all children under age 6 years be tested for lead. The best ages for testing are 12 months and 24 months, or whenever there is concern that a child has been exposed.
If you would like additional information, please contact the Solano County Public Health Lead Coordinator, Anne Shapiro, PHN at 707-553-5482.