5 Ways To Protect Your Children From Lead Exposure

Protect Your Children From Lead Exposure

Anyone can be harmed by lead exposure, but this heavy metal is particularly toxic for pregnant women, babies, and children under the age of six. Lead poisoning is the number one cause of environmental illness in California children, but it is also preventable. Our team at Benchmark Environmental Engineering in San Jose, CA, would like parents, daycare providers, educators, and other caregivers to be aware of these five ways you can protect the children in your care from exposure.

  1. Identify Exposure Hazards
  2. Keep A Clean Home & Play Area
  3. Feed Your Kids A Healthy Diet
  4. Ask Your Pediatrician For A Blood Test
  5. Get Professional Lead Testing

The Dangers Of Lead Exposure

Inquisitive babies and toddlers like to crawl around and explore the world around them. While doing so, they come into contact with all kinds of dirt, debris, dust, and other substances on the furniture, walls, and floor around them. If ingested, lead can build up inside the body.

Lead poisoning can lead to learning disabilities, attention disorders, behavioral problems, permanent damage to the brain, nervous system, kidneys, and other organs. In the worst cases, it can result in death.

1. Identify Exposure Hazards

Although lead-based paint has been banned since the late 1970s, chipping, peeling paint in older homes and buildings is still a primary source of contamination. Lead also exists in bare soil, especially in homes and playgrounds near industrial areas, factories, and airports.
Some city water sources and pipes are also contaminated. Even toys and jewelry have sometimes failed random lead testing.

2. Keep A Clean Home & Play Area

It’s a good idea to mop your floors regularly and keep your window sills and interior surfaces such as tabletops and bookshelves well-dusted with a wet cloth or paper towel. Wash toys frequently with soap and hot water. If you notice any peeling or chipping paint indoors, cover it up with duct tape until you have time to get it tested.

Ensure your children wash their hands and bathe frequently, and teach them not to put their fingers in their mouths.

3. Feed Your Kids A Healthy Diet

Teaching your little ones to eat right helps them grow up strong. The right diet may also help reduce toxic heavy metals from being absorbed into their bodies. Foods rich in calcium, iron, and vitamin C are especially good at preventing lead absorption.

Dairy products, unprocessed red meat, beans, leafy greens, and fruits and veggies, including broccoli, tomatoes, oranges, kiwis, and strawberries, are great choices. Avoid imported foods, including candy.

4. Ask Your Pediatrician For A Blood Test

There are no early warning symptoms for lead poisoning. By the time you realize something is wrong, it might be too late to stop permanent damage. If you suspect your child has been exposed to lead, ask your doctor for a blood test ASAP, as this is the only way to determine if there is a problem.

5. Get Professional Lead Testing

Lead poisoning is devastating to all involved. The best way to identify this heavy metal pollution in your home, school, or kid-centered business is to bring in an environmental consulting firm to test your paint, soil, and water. Then, if a problem is discovered, you can work on a mitigation plan.

Lead Testing Services In San Jose, CA

Benchmark Environmental Engineering offers a full range of environmental testing services in the Bay Area, including lead paint testing and soil and water testing. Don’t leave the children in your care at risk. Call today to schedule an appointment.

For more information on lead hazards, check out this excellent FAQ resource from the state of California.