Childhood lead poisoning has become much less frequent as testing and prevention have improved. Removing lead from paint, reducing the lead content of fuels, and monitoring waste product management are all factors in this positive trend.
But lead poisoning is still around, and since even small amounts of lead can compromise a child mentally and lead to permanent handicap — one chip of old paint is enough to cause a toxic reaction — it's important to be aware of the risk. In many areas, health care providers check all children between the ages of 9 months and 18 months for lead, while others test children's blood only if answers to a questionnaire are positive. Know what the policy is in your area, and get the test if it's advised.
Lead poisoning is treatable, but very dangerous. Get the help your child deserves. It could save her future. FYI:
If your baby
has ever lived in a house built before 1972, she may have been exposed to lead paint. Talk to your health care provider about testing her. Know that finding and eliminating the source of any lead is a job for professionals.