I live in an older home, and most of the walls are covered in lead-based paint. I am concerned that my son might be in danger of lead poisoning. What are some of the symptoms of lead poisoning, and how do I get him tested?
Lead poisoning can produce many symptoms, including irritability, headaches, weight loss, nausea, constipation, abdominal pain, fatigue, and muscle weakness. However, many kids with lead poisoning don't show any signs of the illness.
If you're concerned that your son might be at risk for lead poisoning, talk with your doctor. It's important to get your child tested for lead poisoning, as many other illnesses can cause these same symptoms. Your doctor may recommend a blood test that will help to make (or rule out) a diagnosis of lead poisoning.
Some kids, such as those from low-income families or who live in communities where many of the homes were built before 1950, are considered to be at higher risk for lead exposure. State health department recommendations for lead screening vary depending on a child's age and risk of lead exposure. But the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that, if possible, all kids be screened when they're 1 and 2 years old.
Reviewed by: Yamini Durani, MD
Date reviewed: July 2012
|American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) The AAP is committed to the health and well-being of infants, adolescents, and young adults. The website offers news articles and tips on health for families.|
|Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) The EPA is the government agency that works to protect human health and safeguard the natural environment.|
|Blood Test: Lead In babies and young kids whose brains are still developing, even a small amount of lead can cause learning disabilities and behavioral problems. A lead test can determine the amount of lead in the blood.|
|Lead Poisoning Long-term exposure to lead can cause serious health problems, particularly in young kids, so it's important to find out whether your child might be at risk for lead exposure.|
|Can Lead Affect My Unborn Baby? Find out what the experts have to say.|
|How Can We Tell if Our Home's Paint Contains Lead? Find out what the expert have to say.|
|Auditory Processing Disorder Kids with APD can't process what they hear as other kids do, because their ears and brain don't fully coordinate. But early diagnosis and therapy can improve their hearing skills.|
|Pica Some young kids have the eating disorder pica, which is characterized by persistent and compulsive cravings to eat nonfood items.|
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