According to the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention), about 24 million homes actually contain elevated levels of dust that has been contaminated by the lead in the homes’ lead paint. This is an eye opening statistic that all parents need to take seriously. Lead paint can cause serious health issues for young children.
Toddlers are more susceptible to the lead paint simply for the fact that they put objects in their mouths. If a toddler notices that any of the paint in your house is peeling, he is going to be more likely to pick at it, which stirs up dust that most likely will contain the lead in it.
Houses that were built before 1978 are the most likely to contain lead paint. If this fits the description of your house, you need to get it tested. There are two ways you can go about doing this. You can purchase a lead paint test kit at your local home improvement store, such as Home Depot or Lowes. The test strip works by turning a color (usually red) if it comes in contact with lead. You can also call your local health department and ask them if they can come out and do a test. Their testing will be more accurate than using the home test kit.
Some of the health issues that will arise if your toddler has a build-up of lead in his body include behavioral issues, learning disabilities, an upset stomach, constipation, an iron deficiency, and headaches. If you notice any of these symptoms in your child get a medical evaluation and blood testing done immediately. There are treatments available for removing the lead from your body.
Should you discover that there is lead paint in your home, you will need to take your family and relocate until the house can be properly renovated. This can be costly, but you and your toddler’s health are more important. Of course, if the house is rented then the landlord will be responsible for the clean up costs.
Preventing lead poisoning is much easier than treating it. Always inquire about the age of the home you wish to purchase or rent and insist that a lead paint test is performed ahead of time. No matter how much you love the home, don’t commit to it if the test is positive. Move on and find a safer place for your family to live.
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