Tuesday, October 21, 2008

A Pint of Prevention

This is National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week

Do you live in an older home? Thinking of renovating? It's important to do it carefully. Dust and chips from old (pre-1978) paint are a serious threat to little kids. LA County director of public health Jonathan Fielding says, "Most children with high lead levels do not look or act sick, but they can suffer long-term health consequences" if parents aren't careful. High levels of lead can cause learning and behavioral problems.

Children living in (older) homes being remodeled are especially vulnerable. The biggest concern is for little kids, because they often put their hands in their mouths. My family lives in an older home. So we keep an eye on chipping paint, and vacuum and mop weekly. Families living in older homes should also wash kids' hands frequently, and pay particular attention to doorways, windows, and other places paint tends to wear away. A pediatrician can check your child for lead with a blood test. 

You can get more information through LA County's lead poisoning prevention hotline 1-800-LA-4-LEAD.

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