Lead Exposure: Know the Signs

How Is Lead Poisoning Treated?

Because lead is eliminated from the body over a period of time, the most crucial step in dealing with elevated lead levels in a child is eliminating the source of the poisoning — whether it be a contaminated toy or flaking lead paint in the home.

For more severe cases, doctors may recommend a treatment called chelation therapy. The medicines used in this therapy are injected into the bloodstream, where they bind with the lead and help the body eliminate it more quickly and completely.

Protect Your Family

Though lead is, in many cases, an invisible threat, parents can go a long way toward protecting their children by remaining vigilant.

Make sure to dispose of any toys that may contain lead. Also, be sure to maintain the paint in your home, especially if you live in a home built before 1978, when lead paint guidelines went into effect.

If you suspect that a child in your home has been poisoned with lead, seek a doctor's opinion as soon as possible. Your physician will be able to conduct tests to confirm whether or not your child is in danger and will be able to suggest the best course of action.

Sources: National Safety Council; Mayo Clinic; the National Institutes of Health

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