Lead Poisoning -Symptom and Treatment of Lead Poisoning , Lead poisoning in Child
Exposure to lead in housing poses a significant health risk to young children. Lead is a heavy metal used in many materials and products. When absorbed into the body, it is highly toxic to many organs and systems and seriously hinders the body's neurological development.
Lead poisoning occurs when a person swallows lead or breathes in its fumes. The result can be damage to the brain, nerves, and many other parts of the body. Acute lead poisoning occurs when a person takes in a large amount of lead over a short period of time. Acute lead poisoning is rare. Chronic lead poisoning occurs when small amounts of lead are taken in over a longer period. Chronic lead poisoning is a common problem among children.Lead is toxic to many of your body's tissues and enzymes. Children particularly are susceptible to lead poisoning because it can accumulate in their nervous system as their bodies grow and develop.
Deaths from lead poisoning are now rare, but it is common for a child's blood to contain enough lead to cause intellectual and developmental delay, neurologic problems, kidney disease, and anemia .
Lead is most harmful to children under age six because it is easily absorbed into their growing bodies and interferes with the developing brain and other organs and systems. Pregnant women and women of childbearing age are also at increased risk, because lead ingested by the mother can cross the placenta and affect the unborn fetus.
Symptoms of Lead Poisoning
Symptoms for adult include:
High blood pressure
Wrist or foot weakness
Following symptoms can be seen in children:
Causes of Lead Poisoning
Lead poisoning is usually caused by months or years of exposure to small amounts of lead in the home, work, or day care environment. It can also happen very quickly with exposure to high concentrations .
Lead was once widely used in paints, gasoline, water pipes, and other products. Scientists did not realize how dangerous lead was to the human body. Since finding out how harmful lead can be, governments have banned the use of lead in most products. Some sources still pose a problem, however. These include:
Lead-based paints- Paints in older homes are still the most common source of exposure to lead among preschool children.
Dust and soil- Lead from gasoline fumes and from factory smokestacks eventually settles out of the air and becomes part of the soil. When people handle the soil or eat foods grown in it, they may absorb lead into their bodies.
Drinking water- the pipes used in homes built before 1930 were usually made of lead. Drinking water in older homes may therefore contain lead.
Jobs and hobbies- many occupations and leisure-time activities bring people into contact with lead. Such activities include making pottery or stained glass, refinishing furniture, doing home repairs, and using indoor firing ranges for gun practice.
Foods and containers- certain kinds of glassware and ceramic dishes are made with lead compounds.
Folk medicines- certain types of home remedies that people have used for many years contain lead.
Diagnosis of Lead Poising
Laboratory tests may include:
Serum lead levels
Complete blood count and coagulation studies
Bone marrow biopsy (stippled erythroblasts)
Other tests that can be helpful if lead poisoning is suspected include:
Abdominal X-rays, which might show deposits of lead in the bowel.
Extremity X-rays that may show lines of lead deposited in the bone, which may indicate chronic lead poisoning.
BUN or creatinine tests, which check for kidney (renal) function problems that can be associated with lead poisoning.
Urine test, which may be given to assess renal damage that might be associated with lead in the body.
Infants and children most at risk are those living in pre-1960's housing where paint often contained lead. Small children often ingest paint chips or dust from lead based paint. Soil in cities with high traffic density may contain high levels of lead from car exhaust. If a person is Working in an industry employing or processing lead.
Prevention for Lead Poisoning
Make sure children eat regular nutritious meals, since more lead is absorbed on an empty stomach.
Make sure children's diets contain plenty of iron and calcium.
Do not store food in open cans, especially imported cans. Do not store or serve food in pottery that is meant for decorative use. Also, do not store food or beverages in lead crystal or china.
If members of the family work with lead, make sure children are not exposed through any lead-contaminated clothing or scrap material brought home
Do not store alcohol in crystal containers
Cover bare soil play areas
Treatment of Lead Poisoning
Lead poisoning can be treated if treatment begins before too much damage has occurred.
Treatment for lead poisoning includes removing the source of lead exposure and eating a balanced diet. Adequate nutrition, especially sufficient iron intake, helps prevent absorption of lead. Often this treatment approach is enough to reduce lead levels in the body. If this is not successful or if lead levels are very high, chelation therapy may be used. Chelation therapy involves taking medications that bind to lead in the body and help speed its elimination through the kidneys.
It is important to make sure that children are not exposed to lead. The most effective means of prevention is to keep children out of buildings that contain lead-based paint until the lead has been either removed or sealed away and the environment is certified by professionals to be free of lead residues.
In cases where someone has potentially eaten toxic doses of lead in a short period of time, the following treatments might be done:
Bowel irrigation with polyethylene glycol solution
General Home CareCheck pottery, china and leaded glassware for lead content
Use cold water for drinking, cooking and making infant formula because it carries less lead. (Boiling the water concentrates the lead.)
Plant bushes near exterior walls to keep children away.
Test your water for lead safety through recommendations from local water suppliers or government agencies.
Plant grass for dust control.
Run tap water for 60 seconds before using it whenever the water may have been standing awhile.
Keep your child away from peeling paint. The peeling paint needs to be removed from all surfaces up to 5 feet above the floor. It is also a good idea to repaint the rooms to seal in the lead paint.
If you're remodeling an old home, seal off the rooms that are being worked on. For example, put heavy sheets of plastic over doorways and windows of the work area.
If there's a problem with lead poisoning in the area where you live, or if a lot of older houses in your neighborhood are being remodeled, have your family wipe their feet and take their shoes off before they come into your home. This will lower the chance of tracking soil with lead in it into your home.
Wash your child's hands and face before meals.
At least twice a week, mop floors and wipe windowsills and other surfaces on which children might chew. Use a solution of powdered dishwasher detergent in warm water
Call The Doctor
If one or more of your children has high blood lead levels
If there is severe abdominal pain or frequent forceful, explosive vomiting usually not preceded by nausea
If you notice the following symptoms:
Fatigue or drowsiness
Weakness of hands and feet
Changes in personality
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