Anyone can get lead poisoning but children younger than 6 are at a higher risk. That’s because their bodies more easily absorb lead and are more susceptible to its effects. This naturally occurring chemical can build up in their bodies at a higher level. As a parent or caregiver, you can help protect young children from lead exposure. Greater awareness and simple actions can have a big impact.
You and your family may be exposed to high levels of lead if your home:
Many areas of Illinois also contain high levels of lead in the soil. Sources of lead in our soil are leaded gasoline, lead paint dust and industries that use lead.
Lead can also be found in:
A healthcare provider should assess your child for lead poisoning starting at 6 months old to 1 year old. If your child has high levels of lead, IPC recommends you identify and remove the source of lead. If the source of lead cannot be readily identified or removed, the child should be removed from the environment.
Children with high lead levels in their blood may not have any symptoms. The long-term effects however can be serious. These include disabilities, decreased growth, hyperactivity and impaired hearing. In addition, damage can occur to other vital organs, such as the kidneys and stomach.
Reduce your child’s exposure to lead with these actions:
IPC is here to help. Don’t wait for symptoms of lead poisoning if you suspect your child was exposed to lead or other environmental poisons. Call our toll-free helpline at 1-800-222-1222 for treatment advice. We’re available 24 hours a day.
Our course covers poison prevention in seven short lessons and quizzes. It offers continuing education credit and free IPC giveaways.
IPC resources empower parents, teachers and public officials to prevent poisonings.
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