KEEP YOUR CHILDREN SAFE FROM LEAD POISONING
How Lead Poisons Your Child
Most children are poisoned in their homes. A small amount of lead dust can poison your child. Children three years of age or older are at the greatest risk because:
- They are more likely to put their hands or objects in their mouth
- They are still growing
They absorb lead more easily than adults
The most common lead hazards are:
- Chipping and peeling paint and dust in homes built before 1978
- Lead dust created during home remodeling or from use of windows and doors
Some other places where lead is found:
- Soil or dirt
- Some children's toys and jewelry
- Some jobs or hobbies
- Some foods and candies made outside of the United States
- Folk remedies and cosmetics such as kohl, greta and azarcon
- Some ceramics and crystal
- Painted furniture
Lead is Dangerous. Don't Wait Until It's Too Late.
Problems from lead may not show up until later, but can last a lifetime:
- Learning problems
- Lowered attention span
- Slow growth
- Hearing Loss
Your child may not look or act sick. You may not know your child is poisoned until it's too late because symptoms are often mistaken for other illnesses. The only way to find lead poisoning is a blood test.
Your child may have frequent:
- Low Iron
There Is No Safe Level of Lead in a Child's Blood
Ask about a blood test! Only a blood test will let you know if your child has lead poisoning. Current law requires all children who are on Medicaid to be tested for lead at one year of age and two years of age. To ask about a blood test for your child, call your:
- Healthcare Provider
- Doctor's Office
- Local Health Department
If you think that your child needs to have a lead test, contact your primary care physician. If you do not have one, please contact us at the Health Department (419)282-4357 and we can help set you up with a physician.
You Can Prevent Lead Poisoning
- Use a vacuum with a HEPA filter and change the filter according to the manufacturer's recommendation
- Wash floors and window sills often
- Dust with a damp cloth and use a wet mop
- Test your house for lead before removing paint or remodeling
- Avoid peeling or chipping lead paint and contact a lead contractor
- Avoid dry sanding paint or using a heat gun to remove old lead paint
- Replace vinyl or plastic mini blinds made outside of the US because they may have lead or wash them weekly to keep lead dust away
- Wash your child's hands often
- Leave shoes at the door
- Keep your child's regular healthcare provider visits
- Protect yourself and your family if your job exposes you to lead by changing out of work clothes before entering your house.
- Have well water tested for lead. Tests are $75.00 through the ACHD Environmental Division. Call 419-282-4337 for an appointment.
- Only use cold water for drinking and cooling.
- If water has been sitting in the pipes for six hours or more, flush the pipes with cold water for one to two minutes.
A Healthy Diet Reduces Lead Absorption.
A diet rich in iron, calcium and vitamin C can help keep lead from entering the bones and blood.
- Serve foods high in iron such as lean meat, green leafy vegetables, instant oatmeal, prunes, and raisins. Most cereals and breads have added iron in them.
- Milk, cheese, broccoli, spinach, yogurt, kale, and turnip greens are all good sources of calcium.
- Excellent sources of vitamin C are oranges, grapefruits, tomatoes, potatoes, broccoli, and berries.
Do not skip meals; empty stomachs absorb lead dust.
Limit the amount of fat and sugar in your child's diet.
Offer fruits and vegetables instead of chips and candy.
Offer healthy snacks between meals.
Wash fresh fruit.
Do not store or heat food in unsafe containers or dishes that may contain lead.
Do not allow your child to eat food that has dropped to the floor.
Additional Information on Lead Poisoning
Ashland County Health Department
ACHD Nursing Division
Ohio Department of Health 1-877-Lead-Safe
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
American Academy of Pediatrics
Lead Hazard & Healthy Homes Programs
What We Do:
The Primary objective of the Ashland County Lead Poisoning Prevention Program is to educate Ashland County residents about the dangers of lead in their environment. The second goal is to educate and provide assistance to families living in Ashland County that have a child that has been lead poisoned. Once a child has been poisoned by lead, a comprehensive approach is utilized to help the family access resources to help their child.
Children can be exposed to lead in various ways. They may swallow or inhale the lead. Small amounts of lead can cause a child to have learning disabilities, trouble hearing, lower IQ scores, interfere with proper brain and body growth. A child with lead poisoning may not always show it. They could have trouble sleeping, fatigue, constipation, headache, poor appetite, be clumsy or be weak.
All children living in the 44805 zip code need to have their lead level checked at ages one and two or up to age six years if no test has been administered before. Children living in other zip codes in Ashland County are required to have their lead levels checked if they are receiving Medicaid insurance. Children that live in or visit a home built prior to 1978 or live in a home with chipping, peeling, chalking paint or have contact with an adult who has a hobby or works with lead also need to have their lead levels checked.
Healthy Homes program addresses the possible hidden dangers to your child’s health such as:
- Is the air in your home clean and healthy?
- Do your children have breathing problems, like asthma?
- Is someone in your home allergic to mold?
- Do you know the signs of carbon monoxide poisoning?
- Is there lead anywhere in your home?
- Is your tap water safe to drink?
- Do you have household products with chemicals in them that can make you sick?
- Do you use bug spray or other products to keep away pests?
- Do you keep poisons where your children can reach them?
For additional information, visit the Healthy Homes website at www.healthyhomespartnership.net